Publisher Nakana.io has released a new add-on for Soul Searching on Nintendo Switch, with all proceeds going to support the the UN Refugee Agency. Called “Soul-Soothing Donation“, the DLC also adds a music player to the game, and there’s a game and DLC bundle available, too.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the UN Refugee Agency, has been providing assistance to and advocating for refugees since 1950. Nakano.io and the developer, Kayabros, chose UNHCR because of their sympathy for refugees, returnees, stateless people, internally displaced and asylum-seekers, and their desire to find a way to help support them.
The choice of charity to support also fits well with the game’s themes. Soul Searching is a narrative survival game about leaving your home and travelling to a foreign land, and dealing with the sense of isolation that comes with that.
For Talha Kaya, co-founder of Kayabros, Soul Searching was a very personal project. In a 2017 interview with Yabangee, Kaya said that while it’s not an autobiographical piece, it draws a lot on his own experience as an expat. “When you try to create an honest art piece, a lot of your personality and your taste and your life experience sweeps into what you are making,” he said. “That’s what makes it honest.”
As well as the single-player story mode, there’s a randomly-generated survival mode for one to four players. It’s here that those who purchase the donation DLC will be able to use the music player, which features 15 tracks from the story mode and three additional tracks.
Soul Searching came out on Switch last year, published at the time by QubicGames. Nakano.io has since taken over publishing rights, and along with the DLC, they’ve also overseen a version 1.1 patch to fix some bugs and improve the user interface. There’s also a PC version, self-published by Kayabros in 2017, though the DLC isn’t available for it.
This is the third time game that Nakano.io has gone down the donation DLC route with. They did the same thing with Lydia, a game about growing up in an abusive home, to raise money for Fragile Childhood, and for EGGO, a game about connecting with nature, to support WeForest.