The mellowest social game I’ve ever played is getting a sequel: ‘There aren’t enough online spaces where strangers can be fearlessly open and caring’

It might not be entirely sensible to refer to Kind Words—full name Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to)— as a “game,” but we argued about that distinction enough in the 2010s that I think we can sideline it for the remainder of this decade. I only mention it as context for what Kind Words is: a cozy bedroom environment equipped with the chill beats promised by the title, and an indiscriminate virtual post office that delivers anonymous notes and letters to random strangers, message-in-a-bottle style.

Miraculously, I’ve never seen a rude or inappropriate message in Kind Words, which released in 2019 and has seen 5 million letters sent, according to developer Popcannibal. I guess those chill beats really work, so they’re making a sequel. Kind Words 2—full name Kind Words 2 (lofi city pop)—was announced last week, but I missed the news amid all the Game Awards hubbub

Kind Words 2 will include the same features as Kind Words: You’ll be able to write anonymous letters asking for advice or encouragement (or saying whatever you like) that will appear to strangers who can write back to you, and you’ll have your own inbox of letters from strangers that you can reply to. You can also write brief, one-way notes on paper airplanes that other players can catch and read as they float by. Kind Words and Kind Words 2 will share “one big, happy server” so that letters can be swapped regardless of which game each player has.

The sequel will expand beyond letter-writing, too, with an explorable “lofi city” where players can “dress up and interact with the community in new ways, including sharing poetry, swapping recommendations, and filling the sky with wishes,” according to the developer.

“We made Kind Words 2 because there aren’t enough online spaces where strangers can be fearlessly open and caring without worrying about likes, subscribes, followers, and any other garbage that gets in between people just talking to each other,” says Popcannibal founder Ziba Scott.

People do get into real stuff in their Kind Words letters—heartbreak, depression, grief, addiction—but to agree with Scott’s characterization, it doesn’t feel fatiguing like Twitter, where everything’s a competition. It’s heavy, but mellow.

Kind Words 2’s mellowness will in part be provided by a new lo-fi soundtrack composed by Clark Aboud, who composed the first game’s soundtrack as well as the Slay the Spire soundtrack. The sequel doesn’t have a firm release date, but the plan is to release it sometime in 2024—you can find it on Steam here.

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