Today I Die
Have you been on the internet this week? If not, then allow me to be the first to point you to Daniel Benmergui's Today I Die. It seems that just about everybody in my world is talking about it. Benmergui took some of the basic ideas of his I Wish I Were The Moon (which you should also play) and built something better. This gaming amuse-bouche shines in story, soundtrack, mechanics, dynamics, and emotional resonance, though according to the designer it's a simple story: "It’s about the daily choice of waking up in the morning."
It's not just another indie game, though. It's a poetic (and I use the term carefully) piece with a number of innovative mechanics. You'll have to figure out those mechanics for yourself by playing with the elements of the screen, but I will divulge that they all work via click-and-drag, and there are multiple endings. The story of this admittedly short game is also poignant enough that you might want to keep a tissue handy. Quite the experience for so simple a premise.
The game's making waves for more than just its contents. You'll notice a link outside the game window for once you've decided to stop playing. Benmergui has put a patronage-spin on the usual request for PayPal donations. The tiered donation system feels a lot like an NPR or PBS pledge drive, but with more enticing prizes than a tote bag and Big Bird reading your name on the air.
Why You Should Check This Out: Because everybody's doing it. You don't want to be the one kid on the playground with your fingers in your ears yelling "Spoiler alert!" So take five minutes and gain some cultural currency. Then take another five minutes to think about what you've just played, and maybe play through again. Like any good poem, you'll find that it rewards each new examination and angle.