Hazy Days is a surprisingly powerful and affecting breathing simulator set in China, in which you control the breathing cycles of a 10 year old girl, with an aim of making sure she doesn’t get sick as she walks to school every day through heavy smog.
A young girl wants to visit her grandmother for the Chinese New Year, but that’s a week from now and she can’t go if she gets sick. She’s a healthy young girl, but unfortunately the streets that she walks on her way to school every day are heavily polluted with thick smog. It’s your job to control her breathing and make sure she doesn’t become sick.
You control the young girl’s breathing by clicking the left mouse button to breathe in and releasing it to breathe out. Ideally you’d like to take big, long breaths, getting all that lovely oxygen into her lungs. However, the dense pollutants in the air mean that this is not a viable option. If you breathe in too deeply, these pollutants will bind to the young girls lungs, clogging up the surface area and making it harder to breathe oxygen. When breathing in, the oxygen moves faster than the heavier pollutants, so short, sharp breaths are key to keeping the girl healthy enough to visit her grandmother.
Hazy Days is a surprisingly emotional experience – It’s quite a distressing experience as the girls’ lungs get more and more clogged with pollution – you find yourself taking deeper and deeper breaths in a desperate attempt to . If you make it to school and have a layer of pollutants stuck to your lungs, you’ll be able to take part in a particularly gross mini-game in which you cough up a small glob of pollutants into a sink.
The devs of Hazy Days set out to humanise the problem of air pollution in China and make it more relatable. They’ve certainly managed this, as you really feel for the young girl as she fights for breath in a city full of smog. As the pollutants clog up her lungs, and she slowly starts to suffocate, Hazy Days can fill you with more fear than the scariest of horror games. A tense little game with a powerful message.
Download The Hazy Days Beta Here (Win & Mac)