There’s a fine line between calm and eerie, and it’s one that composition 83 toes. Like an astronaut or a deep sea diver, you explore an empty monochromatic world, objects slowly coming into focus through a haze of grey.
There isn’t a lot of explanation in composition 83. Instead, it plays on the best kind of horror; the deep seated terror of the unknown. Quickly in your journey, you come across a group of people frozen in place. Their poses and body language run the gamut from agony to waiting. These beings, these people are both dead and immortal. They are beyond your help. You coast between their bodies, attempting to escape the same fate as you collect data.
It’s difficult to classify what composition 83 is, beyond memorable. It shares elements of suspense and horror, but it doesn’t feel like a scary game. There is a terrible momentum, the sense that there is an inescapable path that you are on. It captures a sense of loneliness and inhospitability that few other games manage. The details are sparse, but where they come to mind they are handled with exceeding care and sense. Your player movement is restricted, as though you are trapped inside a nautilus. Moving quickly is not an option. Your vision is impaired in this sense by your ability to turn your own head and by the speed at which you walk. every step is affected by the strange gravity of the world you’ve found yourself in. Every detail is perfect for portraying the alien climate that you’ve found yourself in.
composition 83 is short, less than 10 minutes long, but there is an aspect to it that remains with you. Text is delivered in short static-confused spurts that convey the separation between you and the person who has sent you to this place. The desperation climbs as you explore further into the world, and the images and sounds remain with you long after you’ve put up the game.
You can find composition 83 on itchio.