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Wide Ocean Big Jacket review – a brief but moving game about getting away from it all

It’s a bit strange playing a game about the charms of going camping. On the one hand you’re being shown how lovely it is out in nature, and how, without all those distractions, you can have better chats with people. On the other hand, Wide Ocean Big Jacket is a distraction, a video game, and they’re normally played on your own inside.

Then again, Wide Ocean Big Jacket is a strange game. It’s a gentle game, and a gently lovely one too. You don’t do much besides take control of a small handful of characters and talk, and it doesn’t last very long, but even in the brisk 80 minutes it takes to complete it moved me.

It took me a while to relax into it, but maybe that’s a bit like going on a camping trip anyway. To begin with, I wanted to get it all over and done with. I didn’t want to talk to Mord or Ben, the tween couple, or Brad and Cloanne, the adult couple – Mord’s aunt and uncle. But by the end I did.

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