@ItsYouBreakup is a narrative-driven game released for PC on August 1, 2018. It was developed and published by Brwarner Studios (@brwarner92). Screenshots taken by myself.
As a straight guy, it’s all too easy to forget how scary dating can be for different people, but It’s You: A Breakup Story puts those other perspectives front and centre for you to experience firsthand.
On the main menu under “resources,” Brwarner Studios lists the inspirations for their intimate and personal game It’s You: A Breakup Story. They cite popular works like Lundy Bancroft’s Why Does He Do That?, Zoë Quinn’s Crash Override, Netflix’s Jessica Jones as well as their own personal experience and the experiences of their friends as inspirations that helped shape the direction of the game. They lists these resources “for the sake of transparency and to inform debate and critique.”
With this context, I was bracing myself for a story of some shitty guy doing shitty things to an overwhelmed woman. And to say that was all I experienced would be too reductive, because in my short playthrough I experienced many feelings, from anger and annoyance to fear and hope.
It’s such a short experience I don’t want to say so much that there’s nothing left for you to discover, but I will say I did get a completely different path of dialogue on my second playthrough. While you will ultimately break up, how you get there is up to you and some routes are more painful than others.
The terrific performance of Josh (voiced by Jacob Burgess) as the manipulative, negging boyfriend we need to break up with stole the show for me. I fucking hated Josh from the moment he opened his mouth, but as we tried to escape our toxic relationship with him I actually got scared at one point when he was yelling at us. To the point where I abruptly hung up the phone, staring at the blank screen hoping he wouldn’t call back.
This sensation of fear about a guy yelling at me and trying to control me was pretty raw, and it didn’t feel good. But that’s the point, wasn’t it? To put me in the position of a woman trapped in an unbearable conversation with an abusive man. But the other side, once we broke up, was so heartwarming. Immediately my inbox flooded with supportive messages from my friends, and that wave of relief was as real as the fear I felt moments before.
This rollercoaster of emotions helped me develop a certain sense of empathy, put me in an uncomfortable position and showed me just a glimpse of what being in a relationship with men as a woman can be like. And for this reason, It’s You: A Breakup Story is a fantastic game, one I would argue is a must play for all guys who want to date or are currently dating women.
20% of all game sales will be donated to the Atira Women’s Resource Society, “a not-for-profit organization committed to the work of ending violence against women through providing direct service, as well as working to increase awareness of and education around the scope and impact on our communities of men’s violence against women and children.”
It’s You: A Breakup Story is out now on Steam and is 15% until August 8th!