You can probably relate to the scenario: it’s your birthday, you’re throwing an awesome party with all your coolest friends. Everything is going great but then…oh, it’s your mom coming to check on you and RUINING EVERYTHING.
Maybe you didn’t have as comically exaggerated outbursts toward your parents intruding on you and your friends, but I imagine every at one point or another has had moments where they’re embarrassed by their parent’s presence, and simply want them to butt out and stop treating them like a child. What I at least rarely stopped to consider though, was that maybe my mom wasn’t intentionally babying me, she just really cares and having someone shut you out as rudely as I have definitely been guilty of is difficult to take.
Little Party is sort of a small glimpse at what that might be like for a parent. I’m not (and never will be) a mother so I can say nothing to what that is like, but there’s a very understandable disorientation at the heart of Little Party that feels at least in some small part a replication of a child’s soft rebellion toward your attempts to praise and help them. Wandering around without any clear idea what I ought to be doing, talking to my daughter’s odd friends, and trying to help her out of the self deprecating mindset she’s stuck in, I felt really at a loss as to how I could relate to these teenagers who seem to want nothing to do with me.
It’s a weirdly isolating feeling, being around people but simultaneously being excluded because, well, you’re mom and your daughter doesn’t want you around. Little Party doesn’t really have a point to make, and doesn’t go anywhere in the end, but it definitely put me in a role I’d never played before and made me reconsider my own actions toward my mother. To be perfectly honest I feel pretty horrible about a lot of things in retrospect, and now I have a small idea of how my words and actions even when not spiteful, likely affected my mother when she wasn’t doing anything to deserve such a response. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t feel very good.
"Quick Thoughts" is a subset of my normal reviews for smaller games which might not fit into a full review but I still have something to say about.
Little Party was developed by Carter Lodwick and Ian Endsley and is available for free on PC via itch.io.