PS4, Xbox One, PC; Dontnod/Square Enix
This small-scale game, in which you play a child roaming his house, shows how imagination makes the mundane magical
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a short game about mundane things that are imbued with significance by the mind of a child. We play as Chris, a lonely boy with an active imagination and a drunk for a father. Dressed up in a face-paint mask and a costume assembled from cardboard and spray-paint, he is immersed in a superhero fantasy that gives him strength, bravery and telekinetic powers; this being a video game, you wonder whether those powers might turn out to be more than an eight-year-old’s fabrication.
Chris’s imagination takes him on adventures around his rather sad little house on a sunlit, snowy Saturday morning, while his father slowly passes out in front of the TV. A junkpile in his yard becomes a maze concealing treasure; the water-heater in the dark utility room becomes a monster to overcome; after clearing away his father’s beer cans, he uses them for snowball target practice. Exploring their home, we discover things about Chris and his dad through the artefacts of everyday life: documents and photos stashed in the garage, hidden report cards, toys and old trophies and books on the shelves.