‘Orchids to Dusk’ Finds Beauty in the Loneliness of Space

If most games are built on meaningful choices, Orchids to Dusk may be based off the most meaningful of all: where, and when, to die.

It sounds grim, doesn’t it? Dying is usually the last thing you want to do in a game, but it’s the only thing you can do in Orchids to Dusk. You’re an astronaut who has crashed on a planet, you have very little air left to you, and there’s nothing for it — you aren’t going to make it. That simplifies matters significantly.

The planet you’ve crashed on is a nice place, aside from the lack of breathable atmosphere, so you might as well explore a little while you have the time. Eventually your time will be up and you’ll join the others who’ve made the same journey.

There are others, since the game has an online component. You won’t run into anyone living, but you’ll encounter the dead. You might settle next to a fellow astronaut curled up on a hill while you breath your last.

You might do something else, but it spoils the only surprise on offer.

Suffice it to say that there’s peace in waiting for the end to come, so long as there’s nothing else to be done, and that those who’ve gone before make good company at the very end. And if you want to practice empathy, and use your last moments for good? You might just have the chance to do that too.

Orchids to Dusk is available on a pay-what-you-want basis at itch.io.
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