Row This Boat
This is not a novel, but a painting with words. Any multilingual being understands the subtle nuances that can be lost in translation, but “The Lake” comes across in English perfectly clearly while retaining an inherent Japanese rhythm and cadence. The story does not progress in a constant line or with parallel motion but etches out an overall sketch. You begin the story with a blurred, indirect understanding of who the protagonist is, then through constant reflection and increasingly specific dialogue, her situation is brought the foreground in startlingly vibrant colors.
An odd pairing, I know, but I just got the chance to test-drive this game. Sometimes, you just need to destroy a few things. Or an entire city. The controls were smooth, the sand-box quality thoroughly freeing and, though definitely not safe for work or kids, it’s an extremely healthy way to let go of some worked up tension at the end of the day.