When my Dad would drive, he would pull all-nighters, and I would do my damnedest to stay up with him. As I stayed up, I would see the highway around us slowly depopulate until there were barely any cars. At times, it was just me, him and a dark, alien landscape surrounding us. There were times in which the night would just blanket the landscape around us and we couldn't see anything; although those nights were few and far, they had a primordial feel to them.
During these late hours, I would be at my most peaceful and reflective. At times, I would enter this region where everything became nebulous and dreamlike; I loved it when I entered this region. The first thing I did when I got my license at 18 was to drive around Cincinnati in the dead of night, hoping to enter that region again.
One night while surfing itch.io for some games to play and I came across Glitchhickers. The terse descriptions on its page had intrigued me: a game that tried to capture those moments of night driving when reality slowly loosen its grips on you intrigued me.Their trailer had a feeling of reality slowly unfolded in front of you. I secretly hoped this game would take me back to that region I haven't visited in a long time.
I downloaded the game and started it up
After the Unity screen faced, a lo-fi, droning guitar started playing with a slow-beating drumming in the background; it sounds like something you would hear in an early Shoegaze track. A glitching title screen pops-up, Glitchhikers. The title screen slowly fades away, as does the droning guitar and slow-beating drum.
I continue driving.
My character blinks again, and I think it's for the last time. And the screen turns black and I'm taken back into reality. I'm no longer in that nebulous, dreamlike region; my memories are no longer swirling around me. I'm back at my apartment. And I'm content: I got to visit that place I've missed for so long and I get an urge to go night driving.
I can see my car from my window. My keys are to the left of my keyboard. I let the credits roll. The game quits itself and I walk up to the window. I see my car and smile, but I don't go out. I walk to my couch, lay down and close my eyes and hope to get swept up again but I don't. So I just pick up a book and read.