HOMEmakers: Games to play at home

Manchester’s HOME theatre has another couple of months to run of its HOMEmakers Festival. You can watch short films and theatre pieces, listen to audio recordings, and play games!

I decided to try out four titles in the Festival which fall into this final category: Actual Quest; How To Win; Love Letters to a Liveable Future; and Tell Me. All work at some level of interactivity, and most can be played solo if needed.

Seiriol Davies and Matthew Blake present Actual Quest, which takes the form of a linked series of YouTube videos. Set in your home, these are largely audio pieces with instructional slides. The audience member makes the decisions as they go along, with two or three choices dictating which video is shown next. It is a light-hearted piece with a silly heart which I enjoyed. Best played on a mobile device.

Hidden Track’s How To Win is an online game in four episodes comprising several scenarios with humour, animation and audience suggestions. Starting with “how to make money” and “save the dragon”, the game moves into traditional adventure territory in later instalments and can be played multiple times to see all the facets of the game. This is a clever piece which made me laugh but which also has on-point observations on capitalism, dictatorship, and outside influence on personal choice.

Games in the HOMEmakers Festival

METIS presents an offline project in their postcard set of Love Letters for a Liveable Future. You can either work through the cards privately, or share responses with the company to inform “a collective dreamscape … part of a live improvisation show in 2021”. Questions, quotes, and prompts to spark a conversation are included.

Chris Thorpe and Yusra Warsama are behind Tell Me, a series of questions for two friends. You receive a PDF document which you can utilise to find out more about each other with questions about the big stuff, the small stuff, personal things, power, etc. As this can be played anywhere, it is ideal perhaps for those apart by circumstance.

These shows are all available to book at https://homemcr.org/event/homemakers/ on a Pay What You Can basis. You can then access until 31 December (the offline projects can be played at any time as they are yours to keep).