Besides the sci-fi and fantasy elements of time travel and alternate realities, Nova-box‘s Across the Grooves touches on other universal themes of regret. The game’s writer, Geoffroy Vincens, essentially confirmed this in an interview with Cliqist.

He explained that the game was developed with questions about choosing or refusing to change the past. Who doesn’t sometimes look back and wish things could have been different? Or think “if I had only known then what I know now?” Across the Grooves feels marked with “what if’s” and “if only’s.” Such sentiment is only emphasized when time travel and parallel dimensions are added to the mix, raising new questions.

What if you could go back and change your past? Would you actually do so? A new existential concern seems to trigger, and even a welcome reminder of recognizing what you do have can emerge. Because what if you changed your past, thus changing your current reality—but in the process, you lost other parts of your original reality?

Having it all

If failing to get a job you wanted was the catalyst for starting a new friendship, would you still be willing to change the past? Would you get the job, even if it meant risking your friend? Would you be willing to gamble on the chance that you could have both? And that’s just one hypothetical example.    

It seems like the player will be able to explore such scenarios with Alice in Across the Grooves. As her reality changes, she tries to return it to normal. However, she can’t resist checking out other timelines along the way. It sounds like it will be up to the player to choose what Alice actually decides to do. Will she change her reality again and again, or will she try to preserve what she has? Players will get a chance to define Alice’s fate when Across the Grooves launches on Steam and itch.io in early 2020.

Alyssa Wejebe
Alyssa Wejebe writes about games, reads about games, and plays them too. RPG, hack-and-slash, and fighting games are some of her favorite genres. She loves nonhuman characters. One of her earliest gaming memories center around battling her grandmother and younger brothers in “Super Bomberman 2” on the SNES.
Alyssa Wejebe

@AlyssaWejebe

Freelance writer/editor with a focus on games, and other areas in arts and entertainment. Bylines at @Cliqist, @NewNormative, @TechRaptr.
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Alyssa Wejebe