For those of us who have lived through our teen years already, very few are likely to want to repeat them. But experiencing the "fun, alienation, stupidity and agony of being a teen" vicariously through an adventure game protagonist is a whole different story. At least, more than a thousand backers of Perfect Tides on Kickstarter seem to think so.
Set in the year 2000, Perfect Tides stars a teenaged girl who lives on an island filled with "gorgeous rolling dunes, free-roaming deer and no cars in sight." It's a scenic paradise but it comes with challenges for a young woman coming of age, as "three seasons out of the year, the island is practically abandoned." Turning to her trusty computer and 56k modem, she seeks company through the internet and her onlife begins to lead her to "wild new places" in which she feels "acceptance, creative empowerment… and for the first time, something very close to how [she] imagined love would be." The game takes place over the course of one year, in which players will see "the emotional genesis of a teenage girl, filled with humor, intrigue and visceral moments, against the backdrop of four seasons in the American northeast."
Inspired by the Sierra classics, Perfect Tides is a point-and-click, retro-styled adventure from Meredith Gran, who completed her ten-year webcomic Octopus Pie and sought "a new platform to tell a story from a teenage perspective." The gameplay reflects Gran's belief that "the teen experience is often an internal one: an exploration of one's heart and mind, and not always easily conveyed by images or words alone." That doesn't mean that this is merely a meditative interactive story, however. Throughout the course of the in-game year, the island can be traversed "both day and night[...] in seasons both lonely and lively," and along the way players will find "opportunity for non-linear exploration, collection and utilization of items, and puzzle solving."
Having targeted $30,000 through crowdfunding, the indie developer met that goal and then some, raising more than $50,000 to bring her vision to life on Windows and Mac. There is no firm release date just yet, but the latest Kickstarter update indicates the game is now on track for completion sometime in the fall of 2019. To follow its progress in the meantime, be sure to drop by the official website.