Video games are all about fun and entertainment… but sometimes, they can also be a bit more than that.
There’s a million reasons why people play video games. If you like interactive stories and visual novels, for instance, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy The Wreck, with its branching narrative, its dialog choices and its brave main character, Junon. But when I say brave, I mean it, because the 36-year-old failed screenwriter is facing the absolute worst day of her life.
Picture this: Junon’s called by the hospital because Marie, her mother, had a stroke. And when she arrives there, she learns that Marie designated her as her trusted advocate. In the coming hours, Junon’s going to have to make very complicated decisions… except, let’s face it: she’s not ready for this. So, she decides to flee from the hospital and her responsibilities… only to be caught in a car crash. Absolute worst day, I told you.
We like calling The Wreck a “reality-inspired game” because it’s about real life, and more specifically the moments in life when you’re playing in hard mode, facing situations you wished you’d never had to face. You might not be surprised if I told you this game’s idea came to me after I was caught in a car accident with my daughter. Luckily, we came out of it okay, but it made me think: if things went south tomorrow, would I be ready? Probably not.
So in The Wreck, your role, as a player, is to help Junon become ready. And to do that, you have a special ability: you’re able to access her thoughts, and even dig into them. The more you do that, the more you help her process how she feels in the face of this terrible day, the more you unlock new dialog options that allow Junon – and you – to react differently to what she’s facing.
But there’s a lot on Junon’s plate – the sick mom and car crash being just the tip of the iceberg. So, musing in her thoughts won’t be enough: if you really want to help her, you’re going to have to accompany her while she reminisces about some of the most pivotal moments in her life. Better, yet: you’ll explore them, in order to discover their real meaning.
We built those memories as little dioramas that you can travel back and forth in, looking around for clues. We went with his cyclic architecture in order to mimic how, in real life, we sometimes mull over a memory again and again until it finally reveals its true meaning to us. The more you progress, the more moments that first seemed trivial bloom with newfound meaning and logical connectors. Find them all and Junon will be granted a crucial revelation.
Those epiphanies will in turn allow Junon to return to the hospital and, made stronger by them, she’ll be able to progress through that terrible day. New dialog options will unlock, new people will be met, and with your help, Junon will explore the depths of her past – and fix some of the trauma that holds her back in her life.
At The Pixel Hunt, we’re like every odd gamer: we enjoy slaying dragons, throwing fireballs or infiltrating mutant-infested bases… But we also believe that the real life is full of deep, important, powerful stories to explore, and that video games are the perfect medium for it. Sure, it’s a bit unusual, but hopefully you’ll enjoy helping Junon – and if it makes you ponder about your own life, that’d be a tremendous achievement for us!
The Wreck is also a story about sisterhood and family relationships – a topic that’s not often explored in games. I co-wrote it with my sister Coralie, and we put a lot of ourselves and our shared personal experiences in it, so we really hope you’ll enjoy it. The Wreck will be out March 14th, on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.
The Pixel Hunt
At 36, Junon’s life is in pieces: her career has stalled, she’s emotionally numb, and her personal life is falling apart. Things come to a head when she’s called to the ER to find her estranged mother in a critical condition. This is the most important day of Junon’s life, and unless something changes, it might be her last.
Relive the Past. Experience Junon’s memories and piece together the story of her past, including the tragic secret that lies at its centre.
Alter the Present. Use your understanding of Junon’s trauma to change how she navigates the day, unlocking new dialogue options and healing broken relationships.
Embrace the Future. When you’re at rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. Help Junon find peace with herself and discover the humor, beauty and hope that lie even on life’s bleakest days.