“In the end, all we want is to be remembered.” So moans a nameless narrator at the opening of Simogo’s latest storytelling project, a short podcast series called The Lighthouse Painting. “The things we leave behind—the songs, the paintings, the stories—we exist forever in those.” You could think of this as a pretty succinct summary of exactly what’s going on in the Swedish team’s last project, The Sailor’s Dream. Stories and memories are wrapped so tightly around discarded objects and abandoned places in the game that it seems their loss would render the whole world invisible. With The Lighthouse Painting, that story world is getting a little bigger.
In true Simogo style, the team released the first episode of the recently announced podcast series on iTunes after a few enigmatic tweets several hours ago. Titled “Stories,” the episode lasts only about 7½ minutes, and it begins laying the groundwork for a mystery involving the disappearance of a woman and her father from their lighthouse in the neighborhood of the islands in The Sailor’s Dream.
After the episode’s introduction, narration for the story is turned over to a guard at an “institution for abandoned kids,” presumably the same guard who is featured in the former game. The narrator describes how he came to know the woman and her father and tells of a warm friendship that he developed with the woman. Then suddenly, the lighthouse keepers vanish without a word, leaving the narrator scratching his head.
Although the visuals are absent from The Lighthouse Painting, atmospherically the episode maps perfectly onto the world of The Sailor’s Dream, with expressive folk songwriting and delicately placed sounds of ocean life guiding your imagination. It’s a sonic treat in the same way that The Sailor’s Dream was a visual one—and come to think of it, you might even boot up the old app and scroll through just to get immersed that extra bit.
There are three more episodes of The Lighthouse Painting yet to be released, with one becoming available each Wednesday for the next three weeks (for your calendars, that’s March 25, April 1, and April 8). You can download the first installment in the series here.