Sally’s Law Review
Family as an institution works as the main stepping stone in building up a person’s character. It is where he/she takes most influences from and the things that will help him/her build a moral code, thus helping with decisions that he/she will make in the future. As an institution, family looks like a boat, that if it does not sail right, the treatment and growing of a child will most definitely lead to problems, tensions and other bad situations that will have an effect on his/her behavior.
When it comes to video games family is a theme that many games have explored and try to showcase various experience through various situations and characters. There is somewhat a special kind of family connection that happens in Nanali Studios’ game that goes by the title Sally’s Law.
Sally’s Law is an award-winning indie puzzle platformer game where players take up the role of Sally, a writer whose father is very ill making Sally have to travel far from the city she lives in, out to the outskirts, in order to find him and see him for one last time. The game has 5 different areas that each give a different form of emphasis to Sally’s journey home. In this trip there is no coming back, only a straight forward movement that is blocked by various obstacles and gates that open due to some mysterious magic.
What is special about Sally’s Law is not its simple gameplay, which is something that will make a lot of players treat it as, yet, another common casual indie game. The campaign, even though it lasts for about 2 hours, has a very powerful and interesting story to it that unravels like a ball of yarn slowly and steadily. That is also probably the reason why our characters are all round in shape, I guess. Even though I am a person that does not give spoilers in games, for this one in particular I will have to say a few things since I really want to give you some of the meaning that the game tries to pass on through its gameplay. Every area is split into 6 chapters, each one with two parts. One where Sally walks the path towards her father and another where we take the angelic form of her father that helps Sally go through the closed doors, as well as various obstacles that might hurt her. During the playthrough of those parts, there is always a moody and melancholic music following us, making the significance of everything that is going on even more heavy on our consciousness and making the written narration feel even more full of emotions.
The written narration of the game reveals the story and the connection between Sally and her father, putting emphasis on the usual mistakes of parents such as the over-protectiveness and the fear of going away. Sally as a kid and as a woman is very lucky and that is mostly signified in the second part of the gameplay where her father (her guardian angel) removes all of the possible obstacles that might hurt his daughter.
Wherever there is smoke, though, there is also fire and the fear of departing is the main brick in the build-up of all these emotions that the game forces upon the player. The thoughts of forgiving everything that has happened as well as the question “why so soon” are not unknown to most of us and this part of the game really hit me hard since I felt the same way about some of the people I had close to me too.
I may have fallen deep into the meaning of the game, same way as I did with games like “That Dragon,Cancer”, “A good Snowman is Hard to Build” and “A Tale of Two Sons”, among many others, but I have to say that I will always have a soft spot for games that manage to convey feelings like this through their gameplay. Sally’s Law is filled with bright colours and pretty visuals that relax the player and give a very entertaining experience without too much hassle. The controls were very simple and the game allows us to get familiar with them quite effortlessly.
The difficulty of the game may be low, but as I already explained the puzzle-platforming is not one of the main premises of the game. The challenges set by the game may not be amazingly high but the game has a much clearer focus and it manages to deliver whatever it sets out to deliver very successfully.
You can find Sally’s Law on Steam at the price of 3,99€.
Sally’s Law as a game will put you into much thinking regarding family. Your fear of having someone leave your life to chase a dream or because they are dying, shows the tones of the connection between Sally and her father and those feelings carry us all the way through Sally’s journey home. The nice and melancholic atmosphere, the flashbacks and the reminiscing of old memories is a very strong combination for Nanali Studios’ game that will give you an experience full of feelings.
+ Strong emotions
+ Nice visual and aural background
+ The narration of the story and the differentiation between father and daughter
– Not very responsive when it comes to controls changes
– Fairly simple puzzle challenges
-Vasilis “Eniantas” Kamakaris
(Translated by Constantine “Kelfecil” Christakis)