#347 – Polyamorous Relationships

Relationship are weird and messy and often it’s difficult to address them properly in games. Trying to base mechanics around human emotions feels weird, but in very rare occasions it’s useful. Like for trying to explain the idea of Polyamorous Relationships to someone.

Polyamorous Relationships is a puzzle game about, you guessed it, polyamorous relationships. You’re given groups of people and a set of information about which of them are dating each other. It’s your goal to organise them correctly based on this. It’s somewhat crude and clunky as far as explanatory mechanics are, but it has a lot of heart. It comes from a place of love and respect and feels like an ernest and heartfelt attempt to explain ideas that may feel strange to some people.

In its short play time, I appreciate that Polyamorous Relationships attempts to explain that real relationships aren’t simple shapes on a grid. Real people are complicated. Which comes to a head in what I think is the best moment of the game. A level where you can’t make everyone happy. Two requirements mutually exclude each other and it’s simply up to you to decide who gets to be happy. It’s a small but important moment in a small but important game.

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