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Below is a solo RPG about depression from Kids on Bikes co-designer

A journey into journaling.

Express the feeling of getting lost in an unknown place in Below, an upcoming RPG from the co-designer of Kids on Bikes, Doug Levandowski.

Below is described as a journaling game for a single player that invites the writer to explore themes of mental health and self-identity. Taking place over 10 days, the player becomes lost in a remote place away from the life they once knew, using self-expression to detail their experiences and cope with the isolation.

The tabletop roleplaying game provides the player with a series of journaling prompts that they can respond to via either writing or drawing - whichever method best suits the emotions and thoughts they want to express.

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The Kickstarter description warns that Below is a game that covers topics around depression through metaphor, including prompts that equate the player’s experiences to falling, drowning and lacking food or water. As such, the player will need to ensure that they are in the right state of mind before attempting to play the game. (In addition to the fact that the game will be emailed out to players on December 21st, the darkest day of the calendar year.)

Apart from creating and self-publishing Below and co-designing Kids on Bikes, Levandowski co-created the fantasy-themed RPG Kids on Brooms - as well as its own card game spin-off, Duel of the Wands - and sci-fi spiritual successor Teens in Space.

The artwork for Below was created by Fergus Ferguson, an artist and illustrator currently studying a dual major in Computer Science and Fine Arts at Tufts University.

The Kickstarter campaign for Below is live until December 17th, with a pledge of $4 getting a PDF copy of the game set to arrive on December 21st. Backers who find themselves in a difficult financial situation can get a copy of the game for $1 (£1), or can otherwise contact Levandowski on Kickstarter.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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