What happens when infatuation becomes complacency? Or dependence? You take on the role of a young man having doubts about his current relationship, and whether it really is what he wants out of his life. Air Pressure, a short visual novel by Bento Smile, might be a simple story about falling out of love... or something else entirely.
It's not exactly a cheery game by any means. In fact, it's barely even a game at all. While it lacks the outright morbid feel present in, say, Every Day The Same Dream, if you draw certain conclusions about the subtext present in the game it starts to feel more and more like you're peering uncomfortably through a window into a particularly rocky chapter in someone else's life. You play by clicking to advance text on the screen, and clicking to choose from one of two responses or actions whenever the opportunity arises. There are three endings possible depending on your interactions with the female lead, and telling which one is "good" and which is "bad" isn't quite as obvious as it might seem.
Do yourself a favour and play this game without reading the impressions of other players first. Once you know what's happening, making the connections is fairly easy, but it's interesting to play the game with a clear perspective and see if you draw the same conclusions others seem to be making about the scant plot. From a purely technical standpoint, Air Pressure is a competent, if relatively unremarkable, example of the visual novel genre; the pixelated look along with the limited interaction puts you in mind of the days of monochrome, handheld gaming. It's well written, but the problem is that gamers looking for something "just" entertaining will probably be dissatisfied with the short, simple presentation and heavy symbolism. It's an abstract little bit of work hiding underneath a very light appearance.
Introspective narratives in gameplay are becoming more and more popular as a form of expression, and you either like them or you don't. Air Pressure is quite a bit less open to interpretation than some, and serves as a snapshot of life and choices that may hold more meaning for some people than others.
Note: The unspoken themes in this game will probably go right over the heads of most kids, and the content taken at face value is very tame, but it's been given a slightly higher rating just to be on the safe side.