I spent a good part of two days in between studying, searching for free games to play, mainly dating sims, because I have a soft spot for them. I saw missed messages. and didn’t really pay much attention to the description of it. I saw that it had horror and was mildly intrigued by how a game like this could have something like horror in it. There was no way a dating sim could have a horror element in it. It just didn’t make sense. It also didn’t really suit the genre of a dating sim. But this game changed my mind. It changed a lot of things. How I look at people in my life, and how I feel when my messages are missed.
[Missed Messages includes mentions/images involving self-harm & suicide.]
“The art style is totally unique, so soothing but vibrant in its own way.”
At first, I found this game somewhat dull. I thought “how could this even be similar to a dating sim? It’s not even that good”, but I soon found myself eating my own words. When I worked through my first play-through of this game, I found myself utterly ruined by the end of it. It was so haunting, and it hit too close to home. There were things that happened that could have been different if you had decided to ignore some messages, or checked them instead of doing something else. After seeing how things ended in my first play-through, I knew things had to be different- things had to be made better. They had to get better.
“Sometimes just listening to what someone has to say is enough. Sometimes saying a few things is enough too.”
In this game, your roommate, May, is in need of company. Initially, you feel as though you should leave her alone but she needs the company more than you or her realise. As seen in the above images, she is going through a lot. You always hope that the people in your life don’t feel this bad, but unfortunately, it happens. Thankfully, you can always choose what to do and say in these situations, you can be there for them, and help them through this time.
The feeling you get when someone says that they will help you figure things out is one that fills you with hope. It fills you with a partial sense of freedom, knowing that you don’t have to figure this all out on your own. Having someone there to listen to you, help you, be there for you, is important, and this game shows you just how important it is.
Even something as laying on a bed together, looking out the window while just having a conversation can be so much better than having a sit-down and serious discussion about what is going on. This helps both parties feel more relaxed because no one is at fault for whatever is going on in their mind. You and May both share thoughts and worries that they have, and without realizing they both help each other.
After that talk, you can choose to check on May or continue on with your study. If you check on May you see that she isn’t in her room. So, you go check the bathroom. You walk in and see a heartbreaking scene. Here you can decide to let her leave, or you can hold her until she feels like she can talk about what you saw. Just because she seemed okay after your talk, doesn’t mean that things will magically get better. It’s always important to check in with people, be there for them.
“The beginning is perhaps more difficult than anything else, but keep heart, it will turn out alright.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Missed Messages is a haunting game but also shows that no matter how dark things may seem, there is always hope. Hope doesn’t need to be something grand, it can be a tiny ball buried deep in your chest that you hold onto so tightly so it doesn’t get lost. Protect it because it will grow, and change, and shift into something wonderful.
Like a flower. You can’t smother it or else it won’t grow. Let it breathe, let it shift with the breeze, let it flower, bloom, and change. There is nothing wrong with that. When the petals drop it won’t be the end of the world. Watch those petals get carried by the wind, knowing that there will be more to come in its place. Once a seed of hope has been planted, it’s life-cycle will begin, and it too will have seasons: Spring = growth, Summer = bloom, Autumn = reflection, Winter = rest – so the cycle continues.