‘tomorrow won’t come for those without’ is Teenage Catholic Cosmic Horror

I came across tomorrow won’t come for those without [] through Steam’s Interactive Recommender feature, and was immediately captivated by its description: “Futuristic post-religion. Questionable hotel service. Celestial crime. There’s something you’ve been forgetting.” Produced in RPGMaker by Estonian artist Etherane, the game exists in a monochromatic haze, a world adjacent to reality — the kind of death-touched realm accessed by the ketamine user or the lucid dreamer.

As Ori, players find themselves in a dull hotel room, accompanied only by their computer-like Rosary, which can be consulted for information on how to proceed. From there, Ori must figure out what’s going on and make his way through a series of violent veils towards “tomorrow,” each of which have a particular requirement — faith, a friend, etc. There are a few puzzles, a couple of fail states, but tomorrow… is mainly a narrative experience that unfolds through dialogue and striking visuals.

Early on, the credulous Ori encounters Rem, a standoffish boy who questions Ori’s dedication to his faith and the mysterious Conductor that leads it. Rem collects the little complimentary toiletries offered by the hotel, relishing the abundance they represent to him. Meanwhile, a sense of threat lingers just beyond perception, the barely-comprehensible Celestials that possess humans and fill them with noise, making them forget.

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tomorrow won't come for those without

tomorrow… recalls a variety of popular media — it channels the quirky RPG aesthetics of Earthbound, the melancholic religious atmosphere of Evangelion — but it ultimately creates an experience that succeeds on its own merits. There’s something unbearably touching about it — the way Ori sleeps in the bathtub, the description of Rem as smelling like “salmiac licorice,” the vending machines that dole out collectible cards of the inhuman Celestials. It’s adolescent horror, a world in which the prospect of closeness with another person is as tantalizing yet unspeakable as the terrors that populate humanity’s most ancient nightmares.

You can play tomorrow won’t come for those without [] on Steam. Etherane’s previous games, including the Hello Charlotte series, are available on itch.io.

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merritt k

merritt k is Features & Trending Editor at Fanbyte.com. She has never played a video game in her life.

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