There are a lot of adventure games that can leave you feeling stumped. Scanning the environments, trying to wedge objects together like a baby mashing toys, clicking up and down the page like the moving parts of a fax machine before giving up, perhaps indefinitely. Maybe this frustration is where the point-and-click format clicks with another damning mental slog, namely in Mipumi Games’s The Lion’s Song, a serene and novel story about creative block.
Expanding on a game from Ludum Dare 30, the first chapter of The Lion’s Song focuses on Wilma, a composer and performer who is abruptly asked to create a piece to perform for pre-war Vienna’s esteemed artistic circles. A professor, who Wilma harbors feelings for, sends her into the Alps to stay at his cabin, isolated from distractions so she can complete her piece. The solace doesn’t prove productive, at first, until a Czech man, Leos, happens to ring the cabin’s telephone with a wrong number.
The game has you searching on two fronts. The first to combat distractions, rogue horrible noises that screech like screws on a chalkboard, amplified by dreads emanating from other places in Wilma’s life. Then to seek inspirations, through your cosy surroundings and intimate conversation with the faraway Leos. When the pain and the ecstasy blend, you find clarity, and make music flow.
The first chapter, Silence, follows the original jam game fairly closely. The upcoming chapter will shadow a new artist, a painter, who appears even more skittish than the timid Wilma. The first chapter is available is available on Steam for free, so you too can see if you can subdue creative insecurity. Well, creative insecurity with guaranteed answers on the horizon, at least.