LIEVE OMA – A Game About Life, Walking, and Grandma’s
“Perhaps we’re the first of the season to come mushrooming here?”
I first heard of Lieve Oma through a tweet my friend had retweeted a few weeks ago. I saw only the art style, the images so bright and vibrant, and fell in love. I knew I had to play this game. I didn’t know what it was about or what I’d experience while playing it, but I knew Lieve Oma would be joining my library. So I followed the creator Florian Veltman on Twitter and read back through some tweets about Lieve Oma. (Nothing is as exciting as a person tweeting throughout the release of their game. That happiness that comes with it releasing into the world always astounds me.) I soon found out the game was about Florian’s grandma and that it was dedicated to and inspired by her. I found this concept immediately interesting as I’ve never really played a game where the main inspiration is grandparents, let alone someone’s grandma. I grew up with my parents, yes, but my grandma played a huge part in how I was raised and still does to this day. So I maybe grasped on to this game more than the average player. I understood where it came from, that feeling of gratefulness. And so I downloaded it almost immediately.
I started the game one night, very late, and only played about 10 minutes before crashing, but I loved it so much. So I held off on it. Wanting to wait till my life wasn’t as hectic so I could sit and enjoy it. So the following weekend, I played it while at Disney World. I had an early night at the hotel, so I turned off the lights, sat at a desk, and played it through. And I loved it. So, so much. Lieve Oma is a narrative based game about walking and talking with your grandma. Throughout the game, you pick mushrooms, which don’t necessarily affect the game at all. They’re really just another little addition to this story about a kid and a relationship with her grandma.
Like I made mention of above, it’s about walking. I really love this article that makes mention of the walking as a form of healing. A little girl walks with her grandma as a child throughout the woods, which were harmed due to a forest fire, while subtly revealing problems she’s facing at the moment, some at school, some at home. You get a hint as to what’s bothering her, but it’s the mysterious factor that’s too relatable to be anything but. Just like us as teenagers and children, the little girl is stubborn. She’s taken for granted that very moment with her grandma, which we all have done. But as we see her older self, the self that’s traveling on her own and driving herself back to the woods, we see that she is super grateful for her grandma. She’s returning to this place possibly out of nostalgia? Maybe it’s her safe place? We can only guess. But it’s there. It’s relatable. Too relatable at moments. The heart warming conversations between the two, the quietness of walking, the beauty of being in that moment, that sweet moment. It all wraps up together beautifully in this one little game. It’s short, to the point, and makes you think.
Lieve Oma released April 5th, 2016 aka Florian’s grandma’s birthday. I have a knack for discovering amazing things at later times, I guess. The game only costs $3.99 and can be downloaded for Windows, iOS, and Linux right here.