Towards the Enduring Light is a short, minimalist game where you play as a man delivering boxes of face masks to a hospital in Wuhan, China.
Created by Allan Xia, Gordon Larson, and Matthias Chua, this reflective short lets players explore the city of Wuhan under strict quarantine, making the once busy city feel like a post-apocalyptic ghost town.
The team made Towards the Enduring Light as part of 'Gaming Spirit Bomb,' a game jam raising money to support doctors and those affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. It has one button, the right arrow to move, and focuses on the atmosphere and eeriness of travelling through the city.
As you walk through the streets, the outlines of various shop owners and civilians fade in and out of the image like shadows. You walk past empty apartment blocks, under huge highways, and through the middle of empty roads with the sound of your footsteps being the only noise. It would almost be peaceful if it wasn't for the unsettling context. Playing Towards the Enduring Light is a sobering reminder of what is happening in the world right now.
The description on the Itch.io page says that the developers were inspired by the real-life events and news reports of Wuhan as it went into quarantine. The description also says that "a viral short of an unknown hero risking his life to deliver a box of facemasks reminded us of the value of humanity and compassion in the face of disasters".
The team has also dedicated the game to "Dr Li Wenliang, and all the heroes fighting the coronavirus outbreak"—Dr Li Wenliang being the coronavirus whistleblower who gave warnings about the virus when it was first being discovered before he fell victim to it.
You can download and play Towards the Enduring Light for free over on Itch.io. It's a quietly reflective game that delivers its message in a respectful, and thoughtful way.