“9.03m,” a PC exclusive title developed and published by Space Budgie, is an artistic gaming experience that pays tribute to victims of the tsunami that struck Japan in March of 2011. It is an emotive and intimate experience with a beautiful, hauntingly sparse and melancholic soundtrack that drives it all home.
It’s also short. Really short.
Clocking in at around 15 minutes, “9.03m” is easily the shortest game I’ve ever played in my life. But that’s okay, because those 15 minutes were powerful. Besides, you can only expect so much longevity from a game that retails for less than the price of a single bus ticket.
The sole objective in “9.03m” is to traverse a lonesome beach and find images of butterflies imprinted on various personal mementos, from a child’s soccer ball to an engagement ring and more. There’s never a moment of confusion regarding where to go or what to do in this short progression of events, as the player is clearly lead from one objective to the other through the silhouettes that pop up after examining each object.
This all builds up to a conclusion that, through an entirely effective blending of music and visuals, pulls on the heartstrings and conveys a uniquely real sense of beauty and loss.
There’s only so much you can write about a game that lasts 15 minutes, so I’ll cut to the chase; if you’re looking for an interactive, short, reverent homage to the nameless individuals lost to this tragedy, “9.03m” has you covered. It’s the sort of quiet, emotionally driven, somber experience that so often gets overlooked.
“9.03m” is available on Steam for $1.99. A percentage of every purchase is donated to the victims of Japan’s 2011 tsunami.