Ghost Town - Sarah Bucksey (17), Haywards Heath
When you're younger the world is bigger, more confusing and filled with preternatural secrets, Ghost town is a unique 2D puzzle platformer, exploring the ideas of coming to terms with losing a loved one through the perspective of a child.
In a quiet autumn town a child goes on an adventure searching for their beloved family cat. Follow the cat through the town, always just out of reach it will guide you to the end of the game. If you're willing to feed your curiosity,the tale uncovers secret stories from individuals throughout, interact with interchangeable environments and perhaps some otherworldly spirits, be the bridge between two realities and finish the story.
The child starts by leaving the house, where their family cat is nowhere to be found. As you explore the town as the child, you must come up with creative solutions to puzzles to progress. Go to Ghost Town and speak to ghosts for help, but be careful of bats. As you find yourself moving closer to the cat, who is only seen in Ghost Town, you stumble across a sweet old lady in a flower shop. It seems you're not the only one who is feeling lost. A lonely dog guards a small alley way, a former squat for a local homeless man, find the bone and the dog will let you pass.
Continue on your path to find the cat, and the child's journey comes to an end, help the cat find peace, by finding your own. The game concludes with the child leaving Ghost Town and sitting with the old lady outside the flower shop, a cat-sized shoe box of forget-me-nots and a less-so lonely dog in tow.
The game is in a hand drawn style, and is a platform game. The main environment for the game is a small autumnal town,which the player primarily explores and has a warm colour pallet composed of beautiful autumnal colours.
The themes of the game are not always apparent to those who don't look for it, so the game can be enjoyable even for young audience members who haven't experienced/don't fully understand grief. For this reason I think my main audience would be 12 and up.