An indie developer has created a new game inspired by their experience of lockdown restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shut In, created by Cael O’Sullivan launches on Oct. 30 on Steam. The short narrative-led game is a satirical look at the struggles of leaving home. Borrowing themes from survival games and point-and-click adventures, the game takes on a decidedly dark yet irreverent tone.
Cael’s personal experiences with agoraphobia are woven throughout the game. It provides an alternative narrative during a time where many are struggling with their mental health more than ever. Cael consulted with a mental health professional to ensure the game struck the right balance tonally.
"I don't want to make a game about what you should be doing [during lockdown] instead of being depressed," Cael O’Sullivan said. "I want to try and capture how it actually feels when you're in it, and show how hard simple things can become. But also make it a fun and funny experience. It's a tough balance to try and perfect."
The game has been supported by Hidden Track, an interactive theatre company, that has been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions in the UK but has continued support creatives during this economically challenging time. Shut In is a very timely and surprisingly amusing take on being trapped inside, and a perfect distraction during a quarantine Halloween.
This press release was originally posted to Games Press on Oct. 26, 2020 and has been edited for grammar and clarity.