Would you play a game where you could paint every corner of the world you’re exploring? What if while you are painting, your mission is to chase an exceptionally large swan without fully knowing why? Well, all that and more is part of the experience that is Unfinished Swan, an indie game by developer Giant Sparrow. It’s a unique game that has you following the story of a young boy named Monroe, who discovers a kingdom with no king and the mystery of what happened to it. One part of the game has you creating vines that wrap around everything, guiding you in the correct direction, which inspired me to write this post.
The story begins with Monroe chasing after the swan that escaped from his deceased mother’s painting. You end up in a white, colorless kingdom that you learn about little by little from pages attached to various walls. They explain to you, in a few sentences, what happened in that section of the kingdom and what decisions the king made. Monroe finds out that his highness was not a pleasant ruler and did not do a great job. His subjects left him and he became sad living alone, so the king took his paintbrush and started to try and fix things.
The king wanted to leave a legacy, instead of a ruined kingdom, so he painted for himself a wife and they fell in love. Unfortunately, his wife left him while she was pregnant. This, of course, made him feel worse, but I won’t spoil the game and tell you what happened after.
As already mentioned, there is a chapter around the middle of the game where you must use vines and grow them longer so you can get to out of reach locations. There may be a bridge, roof, or wall that you cannot reach without them. It was a little confusing at first because I wasn’t sure what the vines were for since no explanation is given. That’s not a complaint, as I enjoyed this game because it didn’t explain a lot so I felt like I had accomplished a difficult task when I would quickly get through a chapter.
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
My spiritual light bulb went off when I saw how important these vines were to progress in the game. I didn’t realize they were important until I couldn’t reach a high point no matter what I did. What I usually do is stop playing and come back to that game later on, as taking a break usually helps me figure out what to do next. In this case, I saw the vines kept growing after throwing paint at them so I kept doing that and viola, I was able to climb the wall!
This reminded me of the above verses where Jesus was sharing with his disciples about how important the branches need the vine. From the vines is where fruit (grapes for example) is produced, not the branch.
Vines come from a branch but Jesus shared that without Him, no one will produce any fruit and can do nothing. This shows how those who follow Christ need to be dependent on Him instead of trying to do things on our own. Fruit represents our character, what we accomplish, achievements, success or whatever having a prosperous life looks to someone. When we do our own thing, apart from God, we are telling Him that we don’t need Him and we have everything all figured out. Until it doesn’t go our way, then we blame God for it not going our way. Ever heard someone say that before?
Staying firm in God’s will is one of the hardest goals to do because we have the freedom (in most countries) to make our own decisions and create a path in life. In God’s Kingdom, we are subject to His guidance and seek Him for what we are to do next. It’s all about leaning in and listening to His voice and being obedient to what He tells us. Stay connected to the vine, spend time with Him, read His word, pray and give all your cares over to Him. Stop thinking you know it all, none of us do. In this way, you surrender yourself to His perfection and will be at ease in His presence.
I hope you can check out this wonderful, yet short indie game, Unfinished Swan. It is rated E for everyone.
The Unfinished Swan is Gaming and God approved. You can purchase it for the Playstation 3 and 4, or on the PSN network.