Milk Inside a Bag of Milk Inside a Bag of Milk

Milk Inside a Bag of Milk Inside a Bag of Milk (stylized as Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk...) is a 2020 psychological horror visual novel game developed by Russian game developer Nikita Kryukov. The game centers around an unnamed girl who wants to buy a bag of milk, which is complicated by the fact that she suffers from severe trauma and psychosis. The player plays as a voice inside her head with which she shares an inner monologue.

Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk
Milk-inside-a-bag-of-milk-header.jpg
Developer(s)Nikita Kryukov
Publisher(s)
  • Missing Calm
  • Forever Entertainment
EngineRen'Py
Platform(s)Windows, MacOS, Linux,[a] Nintendo Switch
ReleasemacOS, Linux, Windows
  • WW: August 26, 2020
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: November 11, 2022
Genre(s)Visual novel
Mode(s)Single player

The game was published to Steam by Missing Calm on August 26, 2020. On November 11, 2022, the game and its sequel were ported to the Nintendo Switch by Forever Entertainment.

GameplayEdit

Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk is a brief game, taking roughly 20 minutes to complete. The game consists of clicking through text to progress the plot, until a choice is presented. These choices have minimal influence on the outcome of the game. The game contains no branching paths or alternate endings, but if the player consistently chooses to be cruel or unhelpful, the girl will stop listening to them, at which point the game abruptly ends. As the player accompanies the girl on her trip to the store and then back home again, they learn about her perception of the world, past traumas, and difficult home life. As seen through the protagonist's eyes, the world is confusing and difficult to discern, and at times terrifying.

The game's graphics use a three shade monochromatic color palette with low resolution.

ReceptionEdit

Lilia Hellal of Rice Digital praised the game's unique visuals and storytelling, writing that "Equipped with a strong, distinctive production style thanks to its disturbing retro art and the foreboding discomfort of its droning music, it’s a memorable indie gem that will never be forgotten once experienced".[2] Jesse Grodman from DreadXP likewise found the game's visual style, writing and aesthetics "fantastic", but notes that what makes the game really great is how it handles the subject matter of mental health, suicidal thoughts and familial abuse.[3] Kyle Caldwell at Pixel Die found the game to be short and tight, and surprisingly effective in getting the player to care about the protagonist in the short amount of time you get to spend with her.[4] John Walker of Buried Treasure rated the game 8/10 and found that it dealt with the subject of trauma in an especially honest matter not in spite of, but because the player is unable to save the protagonist.[5]

SequelEdit

On February 19, 2021, Kryukov announced that a sequel was in development.[6] On December 16, 2021, the sequel was published by Kryukov under the title Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk, colloquially referred to as "Milk 2" by fans.

The sequel continues the story where the previous installment ends. After purchasing the bag of milk in the original installment, the girl returns home, where her abusive mother confronts and attacks her. After the attack, the girl retreats to her bedroom, where she prepares for the night and attempts to fall asleep.

The sequel contains short but fully animated cutscenes and branching paths with alternate endings. The graphics are less abstract and no longer rendered in monochrome. And while the original game was mostly told from a first-person perspective, the sequel has the player looking at the girl, rather than look through her eyes, revealing what she looks like. The game takes on a style that is more common among visual novels where text boxes are accompanied by a drawing of their speaker.[7]

Kerry Brunskill of PCGamer praised the game for not succumbing to the "natural urge" to provide a fix-it for its suffering protagonist, writing that "this lack of answers or any insulting magical fix for a serious and all-consuming state of being hit my soul with the force of a hurricane."[8]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The Steam release only supports Windows; MacOS and Linux builds for the game can be found on Kryukov's itch.io page.[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Nikita Kryukov on itch.io". Archived from the original on May 7, 2022. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  2. ^ Lilia Hellal (January 12, 2021). "The harrowing horror of indie visual novel Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk". Rice Digital. Archived from the original on January 17, 2021. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  3. ^ Jesse Grodman (December 12, 2021). "Ultra-indie Spotlight Sunday: Milk Inside A Bag Of Milk Inside A Bag Of Milk". DreadXP. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  4. ^ Kyle Caldwell (August 15, 2021). "Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk – Review". Pixel Die. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  5. ^ John Walker (August 31, 2020). "Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk". Buried Treasure. Archived from the original on April 26, 2022. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  6. ^ Nikita Kryukov (February 19, 2021). "The sequel is already in development!". Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  7. ^ Jonathan Bolding (January 2, 2022). "Surreal visual novel 'milk inside a bag of milk' has a sequel now: 'milk outside a bag of milk'". PCGamer. Archived from the original on January 3, 2022. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  8. ^ Kerry Brunskill (February 17, 2022). "Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk is a chance to examine a me outside a bag of me". PCGamer. Archived from the original on February 18, 2022. Retrieved June 4, 2022.

External linksEdit