The first thing that jumps out at you about this thing is its format: we communicate entirely with pictograms, while the only other NPC responds to us in words. The challenge is to pick the pictograms to convey meaning. This seems like a very interesting premise, something that could make for a very interesting game.

The story ... the story is that we're a troubled youngster spending some time with Ty, our "big brother" caretaker figure. We tell him about our day, we talk a very little bit about something that's going on in his life but which he isn't too willing to talk about, and then we talk about something bad that happened to us earlier in the day. We never actually address the issue of why we're troubled in the first place, and the rest ... the rest is a bit boring. We never deal with any of the raised issues directly. It's all just reporting and maybe a bit of reacting.

I get that the story is really about our relationship with Ty, and it does come across quite clearly that there's a significant depth of feeling between us. That part is done well, but I feel that far too little is done with it.

Gameplay ... The stylised graphics were very nice, but I didn't care for having to wait through the animation. Thankfully, a second playthrough allowed us the option to skip through those sections of conversation that we'd already seen, so there wasn't so much an issue of having to wait around while stuff we already knew played out. I also note that we were not, after all, able to mix-and-match icons: when it came to complex multi-icon phrases, the game went off on whichever icon was first rather than taking the combination as a whole. I imagine that this is to eliminate the possibility of meaningless combinations, but it seems to me like a wasted opportunity. Having to individually pick each icon from a group of three, when only the first is read, seems like an exercise in redundancy.

So this is a thing with possibilities, and the author is good at what they do. It's just that all of it has been applied to something so dull it's almost another "my apartment" implementation in Inform. I did check out some of the author's other stuff via one of the links at the end of the game, and what I saw there was significantly more flavourful. So I know they're capable of much more than this.

Breakfast is grape jelly on white bread, with the crusts cut off. Some peanut butter or even margarine would be awesome, but there's none of that here. At least we've got some hot cocoa to follow up, for a touch of comfort.