Last Call, a game about domestic abuse, is both devastating and healing

It’s nice to feel understood. If someone says they can see you and hears you, it is a sign that they are listening. This is the key concept in Cibele designer Nina Freeman’s latest game, Last callThis is a. With collaborator Jake Jefferies, Freeman’s Last call is once again an autobiographical game, “based on the lived experience of the game designer,” Freeman said in the game’s description on

Last call It is about domestic violence and its recovery. The poems are arranged in a set of poetry that have been hidden away in fiery, flickering boxes. The entire book is a journey from beginning to ending. Last callIn anticipation of moving, the event takes place in an apartment that is partially packed up. You can only see the apartment from one side, and there is no light except through dim windows. The boxes contain a person’s belongings: stuff like clothes, video games, and books. Some boxes have paper inside.

a poem on screen with a photo of a person with curly hair

Image by Nina Freeman and Jake Jefferies

In these poems, scattered between boxes, Freeman reflects on the relationship that inspired the game — from its joyous beginnings to its violent end. They show the dangers of domestic abuse and how it can easily slip into a marriage. In these poems, she captures the insecurity, devastation and despair of emotional and physical abuse. Though the game doesn’t physically depict these acts, they are described in detail in the poems, and they’re often just as scary and vulnerable.

Freeman doesn’t forget the hard truth of the marriage, Last call feels like it’s more about healing: The game uses a unique mechanic in voice recognition to create an intensely felt bond between Freeman and the player; Last call requires players to really hear these words and to respond in turn — by literally saying those words out loud. (There is an option to play the game with this turned off, though it’s recommended if it’s possible.)

boxes on fire in an apartment

Image by Nina Freeman and Jake Jefferies

I can’t remember a game that asked me to speak to it. You are not allowed to use this site. Last call, it’s words of affirmation: You are my friend. You are my witness. You are my beliefIt is. It was an opportunity to release the tension I felt in finding these words, and extinguishing them by packing these boxes. That I hear this story — parts of which felt reflected back to my own life — means someone hears mine, too. This is what heals in all its intimateness.

Last callIt is free to download from It comes with a content warning for the text descriptions of “domestic violence, emotional and physical abuse, violence against women, suicide ideation and attempt, [and] sexual content.” Last callThis concludes with a hyperlink to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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