Welcome to Härunga – a small industrial town in the bible belt of the mid–north of Sweden. You play as Sara, an aspiring writer who, after having been away for 10 years, returns home in order to investigate the tragic fate of her estranged best friend.
The days grow short quickly this far up north – and the rain never seems to let up...
Lovingly crafted and richly animated, explore the melancholy atmosphere of a small town that time seemingly forgot.
Meet old friends and enemies and piece together the mystery of what happened after your friendship tragically fell apart.
As in life, what you say will impact things in hidden ways and not everything may be as it seems. Who is telling whose truth and can you know the difference?
HOW WE KNOW WE'RE ALIVE is a passion project among friends and completely free for everyone. However, if you would really like to support this and future projects you can pay 2€ or more and get access to HOW WE KNOW WE'RE ALIVE – DELUXE EDITION which includes:
5x High quality custom made desktop wallpapers
6x High quality custom made phone backgrounds
4x Animated custom made phone backgrounds
Mastered version of the original soundtrack including unused tracks, composed by Ivan Starenius
Digital ART BOOK, with detailed versions of used and unused sprites and artwork
A PDF of the original script, written by Imogen West-Knights
Very moving experience... Touches on lots of complicated emotions. Change, grief, life transitions, shifting relationships, growing up, sacrifice, dreams. How well we know ourselves & those close to us. Our preconceived notions vs the truth. The final conversation with Lina was really raw, affecting & impactful. Bravo to the developer for crafting such a thought-provoking & mature narrative about sensitive themes using only snippets of memory & dialogue between characters.
I loved this game. It tells an amazing, emotional, heartbreaking story that genuinely surprised me. I fully expected Sara to ask Lina if she knew that Maria wanted to kill herself and Lina telling her "Yes.", then trying to convince her not to tell everyone and that it's best to just keep it to herself. I expected the ending, in the game sense, to be letting the player choose either to tell everyone or to just keep quiet. But instead it turns out that Sara was wrong, with everything actually making sense without any real leaps in logic.
I didn't like Sara because from the start she was overly cynical and forced a hatred of her hometown everywhere. But as the game went on it made more sense why she was like that. In her eyes Maria's parents, along with the entire town, were to blame for what happened. She thought the town's general religiousness was the reason Maria didn't want to terminate her pregnancy, even though she was repeatedly told by Maria that that was not the case. Sara blamed the town and everyone in it because she believed that the town forced her to have a baby, tying her down there and leaving her miserable. Sara could never be happy living in Härunga and because of that she couldn't believe that Maria, as her best childhood friend, was happy living in Härunga. In her eyes the town was directly responsible for Maria's death.
Her thinking was reasonable, it's easy to see where she was coming from but that doesn't make her any more likeable to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying me disliking her is a bad thing; after all fictional characters are supposed to emulate real people and no one likes everyone. She isn't shallow as a character, that's what matters.
The story in general is amazing. Very hard hitting when it comes to emotions and it had a genuinely unforeseen twist for me. Everything falls into place. The final shot of Sara completely alone on that hill, the car even more busted up due to age, with the final song on the soundtrack creeping over the whole scene nearly brought me to tears.
Sorry about the whole story half-retelling, I'm just not used to expressing how I feel about games in this way and I don't know how to quite put it into words. I suppose a generic statement like "It really is an amazing experience, very well put together. Kudos to everyone who worked on this, it really is fantastic." will have to do.
The most beautiful pixel art game I have ever played. Wow, just wow. I saw that the deluxe edition had some neat stuff, but since the game was free I wanted to try it out first. Great Game. Great Art, and great music! The music creates a calm atmosphere, and with the help of the rain, an even calmer atmosphere is created. A short but very worthwhile point-and-click adventure in a sad and gloomy town. I recommend this game to everyone, but if you have 2$ to spare, please buy the deluxe edition. The team really deserves it, and don't get me started on those wallpapers that are included!!!
Justo ahora solo puedo escribir en español porque no me saldrían las palabras en inglés suficientes para decir cuan maravilloso es este juego, me atrevo a decir que más que un juego ha sido una experiencia. Por momentos en verdad comienzas a pensar como la protagonista, y esta tan bien hecha la narrativa qué es muy fácil meterte en la historia, por dios, en varios momentos me hizo llorar mientras leía los diálogos. Definitivamente vale la pena jugarlo, por lo menos una vez.
amazingly done!!! But if you want to change anything: -Sometimes the movement is clunky, and in some doorways you can make yourself invisible -I was so disappointed when I arrived at my grandfathers grave, didn't have flowers, went back to the flower shop and my response to "did you forget anything" was a no.
Still, an amazing game, especially the art direction!
God dang did this game kick me not only in the feels but also my train of thoughts. I related so much to Sara in a way that I blindly agreed with her, and when I realized what was really happening it really felt like a slap to my face and woke me up to reality. God the story's so good, the pacing is nice, the artstyle is also lovely, the ambience/music complements it well, and it felt so polished and clean it's amazing. Wonderful job even though it's haunting me!!
I played this game almost a year ago and now that I have an itch account I want to leave my thanks—this story has left such a profound impact on me and articulated a lot of the anxiety I've felt with the passage of time and changing relationships. Very powerful work <3
Such a haunting game. Even though it's been a long time since I played it, I still randomly think of it, as the storyline resonates with me on a personal level. Main character comes back to their hometown, visits a grave of an old friend and starts to reminisce. Seems like a banal idea for a story, yet there is something so emotional and so touching it's hard to forget. Overwhelming feeling of guilt, and the urge to deny the neglect is shown in such a simple form - game mechanics, graphics and spare style of writing.
Thanks for making a Linux version, the readme tells about the glitch and the script to run it, that is kinda convenient, except that you wrote the whole gamename into the script while the file is called differently, this does not work, it needs to call HWKWA_Linux_x86.x86... just wanted to say that before I forget it while playing... which I will do now :)
There is no sound in Linux version... :((( The following appears in the log: "FMOD failed to initialize any audio devices, running on emulated software output with no sound." Pulseaudio on my system is working correctly & all other apps have sound. Anybody knows a solution for this?