Psychoanalytic FMV mystery shot in 1980s New York coming this quarter to iOS on the App Store
Lots of games are retro-inspired, recreating the look and feel of an earlier era. But very few games can lay claim to be being legitimately retro before they’re even released. One such unicorn is Burgeon & Flourish’s Of Two Minds, an upcoming mobile-exclusive “psychoanalytic” FMV mystery whose live-action video was filmed decades ago.
Like a cross between Her Story and The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, this game places you in the role of a therapist who must explore the inner psyches of “a network of people (a couple having an affair, their spouses, and even their own analysts, one of whom goes broke while another marries the wrong person) in the gritty but vibrant New York of the late 80s.” Only by probing the subconscious minds and circumstances of these “flawed, contradictory and vulnerable” people can you hope to answer questions like: “What motivates a love affair? Why would a woman want to run a marathon halfway across the world, putting herself in danger in a totalitarian country? Why would a lost man ask a sheep for directions?” The deeper you probe, the more you’ll identify things in common until you finally untangle who they really are and how they got to be here.
Of Two Minds features over three hours of live-action footage with real actors, which isn’t unusual for modern FMV releases. What makes this one so unique is that the footage was actually shot back in 1989 by director Michael Bergmann for another purpose. Only now, more than thirty years later, is Bergman collaborating with designer and composer Lucas Tahiruzzaman Syed to create a “nonlinear narrative game” out of the original film sequences. The gameplay involves watching various video clips of your patients, uncovering and then connecting the shared feelings and ideas between them to deduce “themes” and open up new memories to explore. The story ends up the same way for everyone, but no two playthroughs will be alike, as “how every player fills the gaps in the story will depend on the associations they make while watching the clips.”
While no specific release date has been announced, Of Two Minds is on track to launch on the App Store for iOS devices sometime later this quarter.