Games are nothing if not messages of relentless optimism. If you do the all the right things, play by all the right rules and do what's expected of you, everything will turn out alright in the end. There's very few games that violate this unspoken rule of game development: The good players get the happy ending. Nowhere is the oddness of this rule more apparent than in the Japanese Dating Sim genre. If you just buy all the right gifts and say all the right things, the girl will love you forever?
Air Pressure is basically a Japanese Dating Sim, in which you choose what to say in a conversation with a girl; however, the first screen of Air Pressure makes it clear that you've already got the girl. You've been dating since you were both teenagers. Your character is … ambivalent about this. Exactly how he feels about the relationship is really up to you and your choices about how to respond to his girlfriend.
The melancholy storyline is told through simple, beautiful pixelated art and a sweet, if haunted, 8-bit chiptune soundtrack. It feels nostalgic and sad while still maintaining the innocence that runs under the story of two teenagers in love. Or maybe not so much love as co-dependence. Depends.
Air Pressure doesn't try to turn the game into a linear path towards the right ending. There are only three endings, but many, many branches to the story. It's short, possibly taking only 5 minutes to finish, but there are numerous paths to take in the storyline. Which fits the ambiguous story to a tee.
Why You Should Check This Out: Air Pressure is a game that's not a tale of a triumphant hero, but of a young man trying to figure out his relationship with his teenage sweetheart. The constantly branching, ambiguous story combines with the sweet-but-nostalgic art style and creates a poignant experience. Few games try to tackle subject matter as nebulous as this, even fewer succeed as well as this 5-minute game.