February 14 Meditation (Jenny Jiao Hsia, AP Thomson)

February 14 Meditation (Jenny Jiao Hsia, AP Thomson)

February 14 Meditation (Jenny Jiao Hsia, AP Thomson)

Popcorn is a great snack to share with a partner, because it’s designed to be devoured.

I’ve got something of a sweet tooth, and I’d usually rather eat chocolate while watching a movie. But if I’m supposed to be sharing, things get tricky. I’m usually pretty restrained with food, for a whole host of complicated reasons, but no one I watch movies with eats chocolate anywhere near quickly enough for me to feel okay about my own pace.

So popcorn is perfect for sharing, because it’s light enough to scoff, and those big buckets are made for grabbing handful after handful, your fingers meeting amid sweet or salt (or, for me, a mixture).

Today is Valentine’s Day, and today’s Meditation (from one of my favourite developers Jenny Jiao Hsia, along with AP Thomson) is about two cute characters feeding each other popcorn. As you’d expect from Jenny Jiao Hsia, the game is wonderfully tactile. You drag the characters closer to each other on the sofa, where they land with a pop. The bucket of popcorn lands on the table, throwing some of its contents into the air, although – as always, with popcorn – there’s plenty left.

The characters stretch opposite arms off the side of the screen and back again, one coming down from above, the other from the side. You move them by holding down the left mouse button and dragging, it doesn’t matter where – one arm will follow your movements, and the other will move the opposite way. Any time a hand touches the popcorn or the drink container, it’ll grab on. Move food or drink to a mouth, and the character will consume it, though only if that’s what they currently want (as indicated by a thought bubble above each head).

Feeding the two will fill up the two sides of a heart meter, which is also proof that you’re supposed to have the characters feed each other rather than themselves, because if one character’s half of the heart fills up first it’s the other who drops their arm.

This is one of my favourite Meditations so far. I love the colours, the cute characters and their expressions, the way their eyes circle to follow their arms, the sounds of popping and crunching and gulping, the thwack if the hands collide and drop their contents, the absurdity of those long long arms, and the simple sweetness of the concept.

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