The Town of Light
Renee is a 16-year-old girl in search of her memories. She has been torn from her life and committed to a mental institution in March 1932. Her only crime—being mentally ill. The game begins with a brief intro of the light coming and then you awaken in a rundown park outside of a mental institute in Italy, the year is unknown, but the institute has been abandoned and fenced in for some time. When Renee walks into the building, her journey to regain what was lost begins.
The Town of Light is a first-person psychological ‘adventure’ that takes you through the experience of a young girl after her commitment to a 1930’s era institute. It is public knowledge that during this time period, mental institutes were not known for their top notch patient care and a lot of the treatments were questionable. The story is very interactive with the environment allowing you to pick up various documents and items in the institute and examine them, which is crucial for Renee as this is how she relives her memories. Before beginning the game itself, you have the opportunity to read Renee’s journal which holds information about her ‘light’ and what had lead up to her institutionalization.
As a mental health professional and someone who struggles with mental illness myself, this game made quite the impact. To ‘live’ through the treatment standards that were available and implemented was quite saddening and massively terrifying. I would recommend anyone to play this game if they are looking for a good story based off of true events that happened (in regards to mental health treatment).
The controls are basic in use, arrow keys for key board and you can use a controller to maneuver through the game (which I found easier). The environment was structured beautifully and was a bit creepy due to the old, abandoned feel and the graffiti left behind by vagrants, not to mention Charlotte the doll (yikes). This is a unique story that is scary in the fact that treatment used to happen this way and painfully beautiful in its own way. The Town of Light was made by LKA.it and is available through the Humble Story and Steam for $18.99.
Review Article by Meghan Rodriguez (twitter: Collins_m81)