Not so much a game as an art piece, this story takes us on a journey in search of a mountain that always seems to be on the horizon and never much closer. Along the way are a number of strange and exotic locations with unique cultures, where we stay for varying lengths of time. An entire lifetime goes by, along with the changes wrought by time; the game distills these into poignant little gems.
Complicating matters is the relationship that people in this story have with the fish in their "fish stomach". Every so often they expel a fish from that "fish stomach" and swallow it, wherupon it eats away at a random internal organ until it expires. The sensation is apparently one of euphoria, and the people have developed a sort of psychological dependence on the practice -- it doesn't seem clear to me if there's a practical reason for it except to keep the internal fish population down. Meanwhile, it's clearly not healthy to allow one's organs to be eaten away faster than they can heal. I rather wonder why they don't simply expel the fish and not swallow it....
It's all very symbolic, I'm sure. Is it a metaphor for an artistic or spiritual search, and are the fish representative of, I don't know, a drug addiction perhaps? The sort of poetic language employed certainly implies that it means something a lot more. Or does it matter? Is it enough that it's a fascinating story told in beautiful prose? Maybe, but this sort of thing just seems to invite meditation.
Well, as far as interactivity goes, a lot of it seems to be of clicking a "next" button. There are a few decisions to be made at various points, though, and I do note that certain branches of the story can be bypassed depending on your decisions. It doesn't feel like any of these changes really matter, even though an entire location may be cut off: the story carries on regardless. There's a bit of exploration to do, and maybe it'll take multiple viewings to see everything, but I suspect that you'll probably see everything you need to see on just your first playthrough, in order to get an idea of the direction this is going. Not that you'll necessarily manage to distill it down to a single, comprehensive thesis statement; but maybe the pursuit of meaning, like the pursuit of the eponymous summit, was never meant to reach fruition, and the act of searching is what's really important.
Though I will admit that I'm maybe a little too goal-oriented for this sort of thing.
Maybe it's a slice or two of a cinnamon roll, with honeydew melon and canteloupe on the side, and mint tea. I'm kind of itching to unravel the roll, but maybe it's better not to.