To Do List is an indie horror game that takes place on an island in the middle of a void. It’s another game created by the Four Quarters Team who also made Please, Don’t Touch Anything. You start out in a small house, with a simple looking to do list. Going outside, you’ll see you’re actually living on an island in space or some sort of void.
Each day, the game seems to get darker, and the character losses more of his sanity. The list is basic for the first few days, but then it gets weird. One day a strange noise wakes you up, and it turns out to be a radio. The message from the radio is hard to understand, but seems to be trying to tell the main character about something bad that happened to him, or a serious problem he’s dealing with. There’s a lot of theories of what the game is about, and how the days work.
The radio is the repressed memories, thoughts, and experiences from the past. He destroyed it because he wants to avoid the bad times, pain, and regret. Then the worm that shows up on the island one day is a stranger from the outside world, but he doesn’t want any visitors. He kills it and decides to remain alone. It’s fun to think of the many possible theories of To Do List.
To Do List Explained – Existential Horror and Isolation
It’s also thought that we are actually experiencing the life of the character on this island in reverse. If you pay close attention, you’ll be able to tell that some things happening on the current day are there because of the next day.
Day 0 would be the day he got there and his life was in chaos. Feeling loneliness and solitude to the point of going insane. Then somehow growing abominations as friends in his garden to relieve his pain.
So day 7 would be when he finally recovers and gains some sanity. After a week on the island, his to do list became more sensible and helped him live normally. Of course if we look at the game in the order it goes, he slowly descends into madness from being alone.
As the days go on, his appearance gets worse. Then he starts talking to himself, and perceives the strangeness of the island as normal. Both explanations are logical, and maybe the game was designed with the intention of giving us the option to think about it both ways.
To Do List is one of my favorite horror games from itch.io. The 8 bit soundtrack is a masterpiece, and fits the theme of each day. The first track is an especially uplifting song. The atmosphere of the lonely man on an island in seemingly endless space was interesting and kept me wondering.