There is a tremendous amount of pressure in the world for everyone to neatly conform to social niceties. All those little, often unspoken, gestures and guidelines for properly interacting with other people. While some excel at making small talk there are plenty of us who crumble into an awkward mess. Keep it Together isn’t just our internal dialogue during these trying times, now it’s also a game.
Created by Fenreliania, Keep it Together seeks to provide an immediately relatable representation of coping with social anxiety and stress. Through simple gameplay and a charming paper cutout aesthetic, players must engage in banal social interactions with everyday people. This mission is complicated slightly by our protagonist being a coat full of rats.
Ah yes, a modern twist on the classic tale of a coat full of rats attempting to pass as human and integrate themselves into society. In order to maintain their ruse, the rats cannot let anyone discover their true identity. To this end they must carefully engage in conversations with their “fellow humans” while monitoring their stress level.
The Ultimate Stress Test
While the concept may sound pretty basic, the clever gameplay gives it a surprising amount of depth. Anyone familiar with social anxiety will instantly relate to the pressure of preserving your composure when all you want to do is escape. As your stress increases, players have to hold down keys to try and keep the coat from spilling open. Just like in real life though, occasionally something may slip out.
Keep it Together is releasing July 30th on itch.io. If you’re lucky enough to have to wonder why some people panic in social situations this game should provide the insight you need. For the rest of us, it’s a friendly representation of an everyday occurrence.