In The Pause Between Ringing
In The Pause Between Ringing, Studio Oleomingus, [Game], 2019, Available on Itch.io & Steam.
In the words of the studio; In the Pause between the Ringing is a rumination about completion, about territorial margins and about the haunting of bodies and memories that are translated across borders. It is an adaption of an unpublished story written by Mir Umar Hassan for the editor of the Malwa Chronicle in the July of 1958.
In The Pause Between The Ringing is a paranormal story, and like all the good things, it's a quest for what has been left unsolved. This follows the developer's Studio Oleomingus tradition of wrapping stories in metafiction, but leaves plenty of room for the actual story to shine.
The sound design of this game is really excellent. The phone confused me, but somehow when it was later embedded as part of the soundtrack, the sharp edges were swiped down just enough to be pleasing.
It's probably the only game that surprised me while reading the text on the screen, thanks to the listeners returning to the hook and slamming dramatically to defeat a particularly horrifying paragraph. Besides the beautifully written text section, this is one of Oleomingus' painfully beautiful environmental explorers. They are the masters of this cool look that is common in all games. Many like the "Museum of Suspicious splendor" and "Timruk" are fragments of a misty whole called "Somewhere".
Fragments of their "Somewhere" include pages from written history books, photographs transported to other locations, excerpts of stories, plays, museums… layers of reality and non-realism. stacked on top of each other without any real distinction between them.
In The Pause Between Ringing is a more self-contained contemplation, but if you liked one, it's likely you'll enjoy the others. It was commissioned as part of Video Games V&A: Design/Play/Disruption Museum Show.