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Perfect Tides: Station to Station
Perfect Tides: Station to Station - Three Bees

Gaming

Kickstarter Alert: Three Bees’ ‘Perfect Tides: Station to Station’

Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie) is developing a sequel to her tremendous coming-of-age adventure game. It’s crowdfunding now!

Perfect Tides is one of the best video games I have played this year. It’s an adventure game (think LucasArts’ Sam & Max Hit the Road or The Dig) set in the titular Fire Island-inspired community that follows a year in the life of creative, lonely teenager Mara Whitefish at the turn of the 21st century.

As the seasons on the island of Perfect Tides change from spring to summer to fall to winter, Mara changes too. She pushes her limits, redefines her relationships with her friends and family, and tries to face herself. She struggles, fails, triumphs and above all else, continues. All life must end (and the necessity of living with death and its aftermath proves one of Mara’s greatest challenges), but rare is the life that is static.

In Mara, the great Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie) created a wonderfully complex and dimensional heroine–one whose story commands the player’s attention from its opening ferry ride to the clear, cold Hanukkah night where she meditates on all that has happened. In Perfect Tides, Gran has created a classical adventure game with gorgeous art, an ear-worm of a score from Daniel Kobylarz, and thoughtful, challenging storytelling. It’s up there with Neon White for my favorite game of 2022. So a follow-up in the form of a full-on sequel? That’s a big, big deal.

Three Bees, Perfect Tides‘ development team, are currently kickstarting Perfect Tides: Station to Station with a targeted release in 2024. Station to Station will see Gran, Kobylarz, and background designer Soren Hughes continue exploring the life and times of Mara Whitefish.

In the words of Station to Station‘s Kickstarter page:

It’s the year 2003. You once lived on an island. Now, you spend your days in high-speed transit.

You are a writer, but what does that mean? You’re on a search that has barely begun. You’re not just looking for information. You’re looking to understand…to know the truth. To tell the truth. At the age of 18, your great works are still ahead of you, at a distance yet unknown.

Perfect Tides: Station to Station
Perfect Tides: Station to Station – Three Bees

But make no mistake: it’s happening. Every day your skills and knowledge seem to double or even triple, leaving your previous attempts at writing – at being alive – in the dust. The present moment envelops you. You will go where the people are. You will be where it’s all happening. You will find the kind of love worth writing about. And if you squint, you will see your future self: the one who has overcome all the fragmentary incoherence of youth. For all you know, that future is already upon you — if you can catch it.

Per Three Bees’ press release, Station to Station will maintain the story structure of the first Perfect Tides, following Mara through a year in her life with story acts split by the seasons. Its exploration system will both refine and expand upon the toolkit players wielded in the first Perfect Tides. Through over 60 new environments, Station to Station players will explore, talk, and puzzle their way through Mara’s life.

Perfect Tides: Station to Station
Perfect Tides: Station to Station – Three Bees

The biggest addition to Perfect Tides‘ gameplay is the ability to collect names and subjects, words that will expand Mara’s understanding of the world and all that it contains. The more Mara learns, the more she will be able to grow as a writer. If she pushes herself and deepens her understanding of the world, she will continue to shape how she moves through the world—which will in turn affect how her story (and thus Station to Station) develops. She might flourish. Or she might wither. Her path is hers. Her journey is hers and the players’.

Perfect Tides: Station to Station
Perfect Tides: Station to Station – Three Bees

While I am admittedly biased given my love for the first game, Perfect Tides: Station to Station is tremendously exciting and I am thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on it. Its Kickstarter runs until September 7th, and its target is $80,000. I’ve backed it myself—it’s an exciting piece of work from wildly talented people, and I cannot wait to play it.

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