If there’s one thing we all need right now, it’s some semblance of peace and quiet. In a time like this when we’re needing to process information so rapidly, having access to mindful tools and resources is vital. For that reason alone, mobile gaming has never been more pertinent.  

I’ve had experience using mindful apps in the past and have found them to be really beneficial for my own wellbeing. This is the first time I’ve delved into a mobile title that I can personally say acted as it’s own form of meditation and genuinely changed my mood while playing. 

Mirages of Winter is a unique gameplay experience developed by Mirari Games. It’s an ambitious entry in the puzzle category as it’s approach and way of storytelling is so different from others out there. If you’re in need of some relaxation this game will do just the trick and is definitely one I’ll keep on the back burner for those more stressful times!

Beauty In The Abstract 

Mirages of Winter is gorgeous. The Korean inspired art style coupled with its beautiful sound design make for a visually stunning experience. The story is centred around the passing of the seasons from winter to spring and plays out like an interactive poem.

Puzzle sections are solved through the use of elemental mechanics. By tapping on an object within the environment a coloured shape will appear representing the element and will then need to be placed somewhere else in the scene accordingly. A huge theme within the narrative is harmony and connection with the five elements; water, wood, fire, earth and metal. As much of the game’s lore is rooted in Asian philosophy, Zen practices are a big focus within how these puzzles are completed.  

However, there were moments when a prompt would of been helpful. Because the story is told in such an abstract way, it wasn’t often that your goal would be in plain sight or even explained at all. Navigation also felt taxing in certain areas as environments are filled with a lot of blank white space and small objects and it wasn’t always clear where to go next.    

It’s safe to say that Mirari Games have taken their player feedback on board though, as there is an email address stated on their website for players to reach out to when stuck during certain sections. 

A New Concept For Mobile Gaming 

Martin Goldschmid, Creative Director at the studio, aims to change the way players view mobile gaming. As a painter himself, the visuals played a key role in the overall experience and are made to be enjoyed as a ‘poetic space’ as well as interacted with. The game itself was inspired by a painting he did back in 2014 of a fisherman on a boat, a character that would later be implemented in Mirages

It’s a lovely addition to the genre of ‘mindful gaming’ and felt reminiscent of titles like Journey and Flower, two of my personal favourites when I’m in need of a de-stress. Whilst this style of gameplay may not be for everyone, it’s exciting to see developers trying new things and sharing creativity with their audiences. 

Take It At Your Own Pace

What I enjoyed most was the breathing room I had to go at my own speed. I was able to easily leave the app and re-enter without needing to manually save my progress. 

Mirages encourages the player to move slowly and enjoy the little things. The animations themselves move gently and there is a never a sense of rush to get to your next objective. It is simply there when you feel a need to play it.   

Content like this is so needed with what’s going on in the world right now. For a lot of us, it’s an especially overwhelming time and it can be hard to remember to practice self care through it all. Whether it’s a mindful meditation app, getting stuck into your favourite series or picking up a new game of any sort, a gentle reminder to slow down wouldn’t hurt at the moment. 

Thank you so much to Mirari Games for the review copy! If you’d like to experience Mirages of Winter for yourself, it’s now available on all iOS devices and is priced at $4.99 AUD on the App Store. 

For more information on the studio you can visit their official website or give them a follow on Twitter for updates on future projects!