Day by Day

Caveat: Day by Day was made for Ludum Dare in just 72 hours. There are bugs, understandably, that I'm happy to overlook. Unfortunately I couldn't finish the game on each of the 4 times I tried because I encountered a few of these. I'm just unlucky, as the comments page on Ludum Dare is full of people who have completed Day by Day and lavish praise on it.

Before I talk about my frustrations, let's talk context. Day by Day is a game about waiting for loved ones to come back from war. You play as a dog who's master is shown wishing you goodbye before marching away. The world is populated exclusively by those souls for whom war is but a distant, silent threat; children, women and the elderly walk through this world, expressionless.

On my first attempt I couldn't complete the first day because the level wouldn't trigger the need for my canine avatar to sleep. I walked in a circle, convinced this was some kind of powerful statement about the ennui of waiting for loved ones to return.

My second attempt was more successful. Day by Day is essentially a point and click game without the cursor; you plod about the environment barking, biting and engaging with people and objects in the delicately drawn world. I made it to the second day, metaphorically, as the season shifts, you're a little older, and the colour has slightly faded from the world. Unfortunately the frame rate also took an enormous hit and rendered the act unplayable.

This would be as far as the hardware gods would allow me to go in Day by Day across all my playthroughs. It's a shame, what Maxi and the Gang have created shows a lot of promise, especially for something conceived and executed in such a short time. Yes the animation is a little ropey and the interaction could be more precise, but the way the art, music and theme bleed into one another shows a group of people who understand how to evoke emotion.

You can try Day by Day for free here.