A Closed World
In A Closed World, a turn-based RPG adventure from Team Fabulous, you play a young person who has gone into a vast and dangerous forest alone despite the warnings of your family, and now find yourself a target for the demons lurking within. Everyone has warned you its a place of no return, but your beloved chose to enter it some time ago rather than suffer at home, and now it's your turn to follow. Use the [arrow] keys to walk around, the [spacebar] to interact, and press [ESC] to see the instructions at any time. Demons here aren't found with sword or magic, but instead with Passion, Logics, and Ethics, which are played against one another in combat in a sort of rock-paper-scissors fashion; Passion defies Logic, Logic challenges Ethics, and Ethics sway Passion. Figure out what your opponent is using against you in order to defeat them, and take a breath when you need to so you don't lose your Composure or you'll be defeated. Be warned; there's no save feature, so you have to complete the whole thing in one sitting.
A Closed World was created as one of Gambit's Summer 2011 prototypes, with the intent of creating a game with LGBTQ-friendly content in a manner that felt genuine rather than "tacked on". The main issues a lot of games with messages trip themselves up with is either being too heavy handed or too vague, but for the most part A Closed World manages to walk the line between these two problems. It earns high marks for approaching its chosen themes both confidently and in a compelling fashion, allowing you to both take from and project onto it what's most personal and important to you. Even if you don't feel that any of the LGBTQ "labels" apply to you, it's hard not to feel sympathy for the protagonist and get caught up in the narrative, revealed through short cutscenes between each demon you battle.
On the other hand, the repetitive nature of combat means that the relatively short length, around fifteen minutes or so, probably works in the game's favour. If it were any longer, it's unlikely that the wash-rinse-repeat gameplay would have sustained it without some new elements; combat is extremely easy since you can just spam "breathe" until your Composure is full while enemies themselves can't heal, and it's sort of like being stuck in an extremely symbolic Pokemon battle without the flashy attacks. It does say something, however, that despite these problems its easy to find yourself compelled to finish, and the ending is a message a lot of people will find touching and relevant regardless of their orientation or identity. It's a lovely little game that's more than a little poignant, and is definitely a welcome addition to an often neglected piece of narrative.
Thanks to Elijah for sending this one in!