During the span of this five-minute game, a player encounters an entire lifetime of obstacles and choices. A character begins as a young adult, ages, and dies, all the while moving across the screen through different phases of life. Points are earned from rewards in treasure chests, but many of the chests are empty; Rohrer has noted that in the game, as in life, “not every pursuit leads to a reward.” Players may seek points alone or in the company of a life partner. Travel and treasure gathering are easier for the agile solo player, but couples can earn more points, although they face more obstacles and one will eventually be slowed by grief when the other dies. Unlike other video games, players do not have multiple lives: “You die only once, at the very end, and you are powerless to stave off this inevitable loss.”
Gallery label from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014.