Compassion is an interactive narrative experiment about dealing with getting help when you’re in pain, which is sometimes harder than dealing with the pain itself. 

It is also an experiment for me to learn how to use Construct2 with something with as little scope as possible!

FX and Music by Fingerspit @thefingerspit

Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(264 total ratings)
AuthorIvan Papiol
Made withConstruct
TagsAtmospheric, nature, Point & Click, Short


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I had to close my eyes to do it. And then refresh the page, to bring it back to life.

As soon as I saw the rock, my heart sank. I knew what had to be done, and.. to my surprise, it was a relief after the sickening sound.

The 'thank you' after it all made me cry, I don't have words to put my feelings into. Somewhere in my soul, I needed that. 

Says nothing available for download


This is beautifully cruel. Love the art and sounds and texts 

(6 edits) (+5)

I find this a fascinating game, as I have been in this exact circumstance in real life. More than once, living in the countryside. I remember especially one very small, very sick little kitten. We swaddled it in a coat, took it home, kept it warm, made it comfortable as we could, and stayed with it until it passed away. We worked with a vet to try and save it, but some things can't be cured. Only endured, until you can't bear to any longer. 

That little blighter fought so hard. A fireball to the very end. He was so small.

I've had to do that with one of my pets now, too. Hold them close as things came to an end. Almost two decades I'd known them, and they were a year older than I was. We made the choice to put her to sleep when her quality of life degraded, and I've never stopped wondering if that was the right choice.

I've struggled with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder and constant suicidal ideation since I was a child, and perhaps that's why my understanding of pain and compassion reacted so strongly to this game. Hurting is all it's ever been. If I want to live for even a moment more, for what joy life holds, even in the midst of unbearable pain, I have to hold on through it. If I truly believed that it was the right thing to do to end the suffering of a life that would only hurt and struggle vainly until it died, then I would have been one of them long ago.

The impetus for writing this is that a couple times now I've come back to this page and just sit here with this little bird. Feeling some sort of kinship, I suppose. Some pain can never be cured or vanquished, but it can be shared. It can be endured. We wreath ourselves in the tiny kindnesses of those we cherish, those who cherish us, and we carry on. There's no solution. No true ending. It's just life.

We endure together. We make it as far as we can. This life is worth the suffering it brings.

I can only hope that when my time comes, there will be someone there to hold my hand through the pain and wait with me until it all fades away. Noone and nothing should die alone.

Thank you for this little game, Ivan Papiol. It made me remember bittersweet times with the little lives that gave me comfort in some of my darkest days, and the strength they've given me to remain. I also apologize if I've babbled on too long, as writing this has also helped me overcome a rather bad evening, and I'm rather weepy in the best way one can be. Thank you again, and I hope your day is kind to you.

how do you use the stick


pick up holding left mouse button, touch things with the stick with right mouse button without stopping holding left mouse button

i cant do both at the same time?



the tears.. i am struggling to hold them back. i will say first i really liked this art style and the game is well drawn. for being such a short game, it has such a deep message, an emotional story (even if short), and a very important lesson i think we can all learn from. i agree with the message of this game and if any sentient being is suffering like that, it is our duty to put them out of their misery (if they express that desire, for humans). i think compassion takes many forms, and even if it is bloody, a shot or blow to the head gives a swift end to suffering for an animal that was going to die slowly in pain otherwise. thank you for this game. my first playthrough i didnt know what the stick did but after reading the comments and testing it out, you can poke the bird with the stick which just made me so sad and a bit disturbed. the text dialogue changes as well to let you know you are just making it worse by poking at it.. gosh so upsetting. rest among the flowers, little birdie..


I Choose compassion, but it doesn't feel like it. Great art through and very eye opening for people :')

I've been in the situation in real life. It's very hard, but yes, sometimes the hard thing to do is the most compassionate, or even the only one left. Great reflection.


i assume your intentions were good, but... i think you could've at least come up with a solution less disturbing than to smash a dying bird with a rock. like, maybe remove the violence and just have the player place flowers thoughtfully until the bird passes on, at peace.


Sometimes what feels better or nicer for you is not the best for the person that is suffering and that you're trying to help, and when I made this game I tried to convey this bitter realization with a visyal metaphor that felt crushing in the same way. I get what you mean though, the violence card can easily feel cheap- But I still stand for it, since a well chosen image can convey more and make things feel more visceral than all the words I could ever think to put together. Thank you for your comment, I'm genuinely glad that people still have thoughts about this little experiment :)




...poor bird..




Covering the Sparrow in flowers, and then killing it would relieve the sparrow. It would be freed from it's suffering. (つ╥﹏╥⊂)


the sparrow was in pain, it couldn't have flied away. it was vulnerable, leaving it to die and be hunted would be a much more cruel fate for it to have. me being there, covering it with flowers was a more dignified way to end it's suffering. that was my compassion, a respected and dignified death. Fly higher sparrow

I...I killed it..



i couldn't bring myself to do it...


Wow, I don't know what to feel or think or say. There are others more articulate than I am, more intelligent or more moral and would know what the real answer should have been. All I could do was cover its smushed little face with flowers. :(



this game teached me something.

enduring pain together before they pass away and learning to accept losing someone, i guess..


That was… Very inspiring and very sad. Thank you.


Short and evocative, not to mention the beautiful art and subtle sound design (or were those tweets my imagination...?)


guys i think the best option is to just adorn it with flowers (I think im not sure)


i don't wanna do this :(


Rest in peace little swallow, I sure hope having your head crushed with a rock was how you wanted to go.

Does anything look more dead than a dead bird?

Don't know if I'd have it in me to truly do this, but I'd like to think I could do the right thing.


This game is very sad.. The only thing I could do is put it out of its misery.. I covered its head in flowers.. It's a game that makes you think. <:')



This was such a lovely short game, thank you for the experience. I didn't have it in me to use the stick or rock, so I'm leaving this game after adorning the bird in flowers. I'm not sure what the compassionate choice here truly is, to leave the bird or to help it pass. My decision here may be more self serving, to let the bird's suffering be prolonged, and I like that such a short game is making me question what's compassion vs my own personal comfort.


i was BAWLING over this game. i tried to find a different solution, there was none, until i noticed that the stick can be right clicked with. 
you can poke the bird.
for some reason ,this made me even more distraught, since it gave you the same comments about compassion, even though you made it suffer even more, essentially :(
love the game and its symbolicity, however i will cry over over this for a few days thank you


There have been a lot of games that were difficult for me to complete. Maybe I didn't want it to be over, or there were hard puzzles. 

The moment I opened the game and saw the stone, I knew exactly how to end this game, the way it finished. It was a brutal reality.

I ran through the dialogue many times, praying for an alternate solution. I didn't even want to know what function the stick might serve. 

This was, for lack of another term, beautiful in a hard to describe and sorrowful sense. 

One of the most heart-wrenching short games I've ever played. Thank you for writing out so succinctly why compassion is important to both the person giving and receiving it, and why resisting compassion isn't a sign of strength.

"Compassion is a brave choice," will always make me tear up every time I think about it and this game.


why didnt you add a choice to pick up the bird and help it :(


here I wish I could help u bird :(


A short, sad game. It tells a story in one of the most original ways I've ever seen. Beautiful


this is the hardest i've cried in a long time. i really didn't want to kill the bird and it took me so long it actually do it. i put all the flowers on them first and covered their face because i couldn't look at them when i dropped the rock. i am autistic and have a lot of empathy towards animals, including fictional ones. this was very hard and very beautiful. it felt like i was killing a part of myself.


do well, bird


I didn't think of the game as implying anything about what you should do if you see an actual bird in this situation. It's art, and art doesn't have to be literal. Personally, I saw the bird as embodying vulnerability -- the player's or someone else's -- and the choices we make when we encounter that vulnerability. 

I didn't kill the bird. I covered it in flowers and closed the game. I just didn't have the heart to! The animation and art are so good and deeply affecting, so it's hard to see it as just a choice in a game, even when it's the choice you want to make.

I really loved this. It's a short experience but hit harder than anything I've played recently. Great job!


I collected all the flowers before closing the game because I did not want to kill or make the bird suffer more. It was heartbreaking, but a very good short game.

An utterly heartbreaking experience!

This is a really wonderful and thought provoking game. Hands down one of the most powerful short games I've played.

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