In this week’s The Download we have a mobile game that’s a little bit different than our usual fare in Father and Son.
Smile, My Boy
Father and Son is a narrative-based, adventure game that features gorgeous imagery, beautiful atmosphere and a thoughtful, heartwarming story. Father and Son is also the first game ever to be published by a museum, The Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Napoli, based in Naples, Italy.
In Father and Son, You control Michael, an artist hoping to visit his archeologist father’s work in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Napoli. Early on we learn that Federico hasn’t exactly been a model father to Michael and his mother, always distant and consumed by his work. As a solemn act to recompense, he invites Michael to come down to the Naples for a visit, to see his world and experience the beauty he helped build.
The presentation of Father and Son is as simple and as beautiful as they come. Long, gorgeously-drawn art pieces comprise the games walkable areas. These range from the decadent hallways of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Napoli to the near apocalyptic Pompeii to the amazing Naples nightlife.
That Belongs In A Museum
As a story-based adventure game, you can expect the gameplay to be very minimal. Much of it is focused on, slowly walking around the beautifully rendered locales and taking in the scenery. As Michael goes on his daily walks to the Museum, he interacts with various people along the way. These conversations offer some light conversation choices sprinkled in but in my experience they barely change the narrative in any significant way. These only serve to move the plot along as well as provide context and backstory for the parties involved.
The one interesting hook of Father and Son is the pseudo time-travelling dynamic that it has going on. As Michael explores the Museum, he finds inspiration amidst the various exhibitions and in turn stirs and motivates his art. The way this is shown is through various flashbacks to ancient times, with the events mirroring what Michael is doing in the present. In these flashbacks you control the person in the past, as well as Michael in the present using the Clock button which appears on-screen to shift between time periods.
These segments are where Father and Son shines the brightest. As you shift from past to present, the scenery also reflects the differences and similarities between them. You visit Ancient Egypt, Pompeii and Naples controlling a different character every time before eventually shifting back to Michael. The effect is beautifully done, it hammers home the point that Michael is so wracked with emotion and inspiration that it fascinates his waking moments, taking him to worlds he has never experienced, before finally inspiring his art. The Father and the Son finally connect.
Despite being light on the gameplay, Father and Son has a story to tell. A beautiful, poignant story about forgiveness and acceptance. If you’d like a short peaceful break between your usual action-oriented mobile games then download Father and Son for free on IOS and Android. Please let us know what you think in the comments below!
The Download will be back next week, same time, same place with another mobile game spotlight! For more updates, please like the GG Network Facebook Page.
Till then, keep it on the download!