Enter a landscape with a solitary farm, run by a lone woman, connected to civilization by a sunken array of dilapidated telephone poles and a lone merchant who delivers mail. The Stillness of the Wind is an independent game that takes place in a world that feels simultaneously rich and empty. More than a simple story telling simulator, there are tasks to do and a farm to build up. It’s like Stardew Valley, with a slower pace, and shorter days. It leaves the player with a deep connection to the stories of another world, with a past wrapped inside of it.
The game mechanics are fairly straight forward. Basic pointing and clicking will guide you around the farm. You learn to interact with tools needed to grow crops and feed livestock. You play a woman who maintains a family farm, long after everyone has left for the city. A merchant comes by occasionally to trade supplies as well as bring letters.
There are multiple stories happening at once. One is the world the player lives in, maintaining and growing the farm. There is also a world in the form of letters from the main character’s family, telling her about strange happenings in the city. Finally, there is a world of the past, told in conversations with the merchant, and found by exploring structures around the farm.
The pace of the game can feel somewhat trying at times. The player’s movements are slow, but also relaxing. Structures that seem close to the farm, can take a considerable amount of time to walk to. The short days and slow mechanics are intentional; building an almost zen like connection between the story, game and the day to day work that becomes part of life.
This is a short game. My first play-through took a little over three hours. Although some aspects may seem monotonous at first, I’m really glad I stuck with it. The way the game elements connect together is really amazing. The artwork and story are incredibly beautiful. It’s more than just a walking simulator. Although the game mechanics are basic, they’re used to pull the player into the emotions of the protagonist. It’s an amazingly captivating adventure, that uses gameplay to create a sense of saudade and deep connection between the player and the various stories your character has lived through.