By Scott Ramage / April 1st, 2020
And now for something completely different. Once upon a time a guy named Will, developer of Soda Drinker Pro, was going through a rough time mentally. He started making a video game as a way to cope and just recently finished it. Then he made it publicly available for free in the hopes that anyone else who was having a rough time could play it and hopefully relax a bit. That game is Find the Letter H.
What do you do in Find the Letter H? Exactly what the name says. You see various letters on screen and click on the H when it appears, adding it to a box. There are also beads which pop up everywhere and, when clicked, leave the screen in various ways. Some pop, some form into bits of candy and fly away, and still others will fold in and disappear. As more Hs drop into the box, more letters show up at once and some start to move around the screen. Eventually though, misclicking or waiting around too long can cause a voice to proclaim you’ve found enough of the letter H and the box slams shut.
The visuals of Find the Letter H are primarily a mix of hand-drawn animations and photos. The idea is that you’re walking around a pond, so the backgrounds are usually photos of parks. I say parks and not the woods because things like concrete paths, fences, joggers and dog walkers pop up a lot. Still, I mostly noticed this after playing because I was concentrating on the letters and beads while hearing someone strum an acoustic guitar in the background.
The aforementioned voice is attached to a random friend, standing at the bottom of the screen with their arms outstretched. If this isn’t your thing, both he and the beads can be turned off. The real key player in Find the Letter H though is the voice, which talks regularly throughout. He makes small talk as the letters scroll, usually about things that might calm or be uplifting to the player. For example, I was asked to think about things that made me laugh or smile. It’s apparent some are the result of random phrases being pieced together though, because some I found to be a bit strange. Some are strange in a good way like imagining a piece of bread giggling or what food might be similar to bumper cars. Others are weird in that ‘Is this game going to take a darker turn?’ way, like being asked how my bones feel. It doesn’t make that turn, of course, but it took me out of the game’s element for a bit.
While Find the Letter H is the name of the game, it’s not necessarily the aim of the game. I had times where I collected as many as 24 of the letter H and as few as zero. Getting more of them doesn’t affect the “ending” since, even with more letters, the same thing happens; you stop walking around the pond and go home. The experience is tantamount, which is why the game lets you do things like turn off the person at the bottom of the screen, turn off the beads, and even adjust the speed of the letters.
After a few trips around the pond, it’s apparent Find the Letter H is a rough-around-the-edges solo project. The voice will pop the microphone. The guitar has a background hiss which cuts out when it stops playing. The people look crudely drawn and animated. All that being said, it’s a free game released with the intent not to dazzle or challenge, but to relax and maybe find some peace of mind. It’s the kind of game where the only thing that matters is whether or not you feel better after playing it than you did before. As for me, I’d say yes.
Find The Letter HPCSodaDrinkerPro