Exploring itch.io: Belong

Belong Logo

Developer: Liz Threlfo
Platform: PC – itch.io

Even if we don’t admit it, oftentimes people simply want to feel like they “belong” somewhere. This is why we often see groups and cliques form. The gaming community is notorious for this by trying to shoehorn out people who like different games than them, or speak about games in a different way. Belong takes those experiences of being shunned and transforms them into a poignant game.

You start out as a small shape and explore a black landscape for others willing to accept you. Some are different shapes or different colors but no one wants to let you in. Yet, the game has suggested that there is a place for you. But where is it? Wandering the bleak blackness leads one to believe there is no end to the game. Maybe there really is no place for you?

Belong Screenshot

Visually, Belong removes anything that could be construed as distracting from the experience. There are no genders or races or religions on display but simply a square, triangle, and circle of three color configurations. Simplicity allows all players to wedge themselves into the plight of one lone, slightly different shape.

There is an ending, and I felt surprisingly satisfied by it. All in all the game takes ten or so minutes to complete so there’s little reason to avoid playing. It’s a very simple title with a message that we can all relate to. Belong may have been the first game I’ve played by Liz Threlfo but it definitely won’t be the last.

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