Oases: Tragedy Reclaimed

OASES is such a simple, beautiful game. You control a plane transported to another world, engines kaput and steering lost, sucked into a black hole and whisked away forever more. There are unknowable structures below you, and a majestic neon sky above. To move, you must accept that you cannot turn level anymore, and must angle your plane softly and explore this new world around you. It’s soothing, haunting, and as the music reaches a climax and you realise it won’t loop around again, oh so fleeting.

The story of OASES is that of a tragedy, of a plane crashing in Algeria, carrying a man who was yet to meet his unborn son. But in the act of playing, that tragedy is rejected, replaced with an almost certainly false narrative of escape, told purely through the skies and sights of an unknown world. It’s a celebration of the unknown, a defiant choice to imagine death as something other than painful, simply because we can.

Our lives are full of sad stories unfinished, where we can fill in the blanks and assume the truth. But whenever there’s doubt, there’s a better world that we’d like to believe in, and if we’re capable of imagining for a while, we can go there too.

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OASES can be played on itch.io, and is a game from Armel Gibson & Dziff with music from Calum Bowen.