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Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk

Developer / Publisher: Nikita Kryukov
16 December 2021
Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.82 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
431 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#418 All-time
#10 for 2021
Taking the role of a girl's medication, the player helps her get to bed.
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Title
If the first game (Milk Inside...) was "inside the box", helping a girl cope with mental illness and achieve the basic task of getting milk - then Milk Outside... is certainly "outside the box" (hence the name!), instead exploring deeply how said girl is affected by her many mental issues and affectations.

This game both builds on and continues directly on from Milk Inside... with the higher-fidelity visuals, refined soundtrack and the VN formula being augmented with point-and-click sections. The VN itself is just longer, bigger and better and allows great opportunities to be immersed and to deconstruct the warped world that this girl inhabits, done by conversing to her (with VN dialogue options that feels vastly more natural) and helping her getting into a medicine-induced sleep. The dream sequence forms the ending, and what is dreamt up depends on some of the choices you make along the way.

There is a lot of substance presented here behind the surrealism that Milk Inside.... only hinted at, and while I'd struggle to put exactly my thoughts into words reasoning about what is presented and my interpretation of this girl and her situation/what she suffers from - the main strength of this game's experience is that it offers this opportunity to let the themes sit, to be stewed and mulled over in your mind long after finishing.

Well worth an experience even with a passing interest in psych horror or Visual Novels.
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Jackrb 2023-03-06T22:11:44Z
2023-03-06T22:11:44Z
4.0
1
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one-of-a-kind
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Title
Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk. Again, the loop-de-loop title of this game bewilders me. Of course, that might be the game’s intention. “Milk Outside” is the sequel to solo indie developer Nikita Kryukov’s 2020 psychological horror story “Milk Inside,” the harrowing tale of a girl purchasing the eponymous bag of milk from her local market. Why was this simple errand such a daunting escapade? I can’t say with complete certainty, but the protagonist's point of view is rather askew, to say the least. Actually, one reason why we might not know why Milk’s protagonist sees the world in the contorted way she does is because “Milk Inside” was too brief to deconstruct. One could play the game in the time it takes to ride the subway or take a shit, and its short run time was probably not to capitalize on the fleeting attention spans of modern gamers. “Milk Inside” was far too ephemeral of an experience for the psychological dread conveyed through its presentation to resonate with the player. It presented a striking atmosphere with its audio and visuals, but it left the player’s consciousness as quickly as a shooting star. “Milk Outside” is a vital opportunity to extrapolate on its predecessor's hidden depth that did not get a chance to unfold in being curt.

Even though “Milk Outside” seems like a case of the developer releasing their game in its full form after exposing us to its beta test, “Milk Outside” does not fall under the hard reboot territory. “Milk Outside” is a sequel in the traditional sense of being set after the events of the previous title, with the disturbed girl from the first game returning home after completing her task of obtaining the bag of milk. The player is reminded of the events of the previous game immediately as they are showcased in the opening cutscene, displayed with full-fledged animation that must’ve blown a sizable chunk out of Kryukov’s budget. Once the game begins, the protagonist is victimized by a group of haunting shadows, spurred by her delusional thoughts that a corpse might be rotting away in her apartment. After one mental apparition closes, another one opens in the form of a blank-faced figure greeting her at the door who resembles the ghastly form of the archetypal “sleep paralysis demon.” The chilling figure sinks their icy claws into the protagonist as punishment for drinking milk, and the sensation of pain and discomfort the protagonist describes in this moment is quite graphic. I’m not sure what the significance of this creature is and why it’s insistent that the protagonist become lactose intolerant. However, what is clear to me from this introduction is that “Milk Outside” blazes over the previous game with remarkable presentation. The animation is surprisingly refined and the contrasting black and red colors make the scene in the doorway truly terrifying.

Once the protagonist enters her room, the frantic atmosphere begins to wane and become tranquil like she’s arrived at her safe haven. It’s here where the player gets a clear view of the protagonist after receiving a few glimpses of her eyes in a hazy purple glow from “Milk Inside’s” point of reference. She’s a pale girl with messy brown hair, a baggy T-shirt, and an overall timid, haggard demeanor. Her overall wearisome presence is exactly what the player might’ve pictured her from the constant episodes of torment we’ve experienced with her. I think being able to see the protagonist from a third-person perspective here marks an evolution from the first game. Now that we’ve seen the level of dissonance she sees the world with, separating our view from hers can be essential to her growth and our better understanding of the character.

This shift is important because the player’s role is once again talking the protagonist through the events like her imaginary friend or omniscient, sentient presence that breaks the fourth wall. Before the protagonist can fall into her medication-induced sleep for the night, the player must help her collect six fireflies that have scattered around her room. It’s here where the developer decides to gamify the visual novel foundation, with the protagonist overtly describing the objective as “being a character in a point-and-click adventure game.” Each object found in her room potentially houses one of the glowing insects, and the protagonist shares an anecdote about each item that gives her more personality. For some reason, the game will freeze if they select the vent, and the protagonist will insinuate that you’re trying to escape. For one, an air vent is a perfectly logical palace to look for bugs and secondly, is freezing the game with this selection a punishment from the game? I didn’t know I was playing fucking Minesweeper.

The game didn’t need more interactivity to spruce up the experience, but one thing that collecting the fireflies does is coincide with the ending. The player can choose to quit at any time, and the amount of fireflies collected will determine the course. The ending is a dream sequence that occurs once the protagonist falls asleep, and her mind conjures up a plethora of possibilities. If the player collects all of the fireflies on their first playthrough, a younger version of the protagonist will escort a young boy through the process of purchasing milk from the same store seen in the first game, which also has its share of complications. Collecting all of the while skipping some of the cutscenes will see the protagonist’s face being contorted at an assortment of unnatural angles. Half-assing the firefly collecting process will net endings that involve the protagonist descending down a winding, never-ending staircase and failing to hold onto anything in a dark, expanding room. After each of these, the protagonist wakes in fright and bursts into tears. As traumatizing as they might be for the protagonist, the multiple endings were exactly what I wished “Milk Inside” would do with the variety of player options. I am absolutely satisfied.

Still, I feel like I don’t have a firm grasp on the substance of “Milk Outside” because so much has been put on my plate. Perhaps the malevolent figure at the beginning is a personified form of the protagonist's mother’s overbearingness and how it affected her personal development. Maybe the fireflies placing themselves on her personal items reflects how some things in her life still give her light and joy despite her condition. Every dream could represent a faction of her mental illness or display some unresolved trauma directly connected to it. It’s not a jumbled mess, but it takes some time to process the experience as a whole. Unlike “Milk Inside,” “Milk Outside” presents enough substance to make it worth pondering over.
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Erockthestrange 2023-04-16T06:18:50Z
2023-04-16T06:18:50Z
6.0
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Outside the Box
The sequel to Milk Inside a Bag of Milk Inside a Bag of Milk is a fantastic sequel on all fronts. Its ups everything from its runtime, multiple endings, the incredible visuals, surrealistic atmosphere and writing, not to mention the new point and click mechanics. The game is a proper horror game in which you see the cognitive deterioration of someone with a serious mental health issue, and its writing is cleaverly constructed to allow direct conversation with the player without feeling gimmicky.

Its soundtrack feels like a direct continuation of Silent Hill soundtracks, and it fits the imagery and themes perfectly.

Its a must play for anyone that has even some sort of mild enjoyment in graphic novels.
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Threntall 2023-02-15T11:47:31Z
2023-02-15T11:47:31Z
4.0
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a game where your walls seem to close in on you with every new dialogue box. a haunting depiction of trauma-induced mental illness and existentialism
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birdtutorial 2021-12-30T00:33:06Z
2021-12-30T00:33:06Z
5.0
1
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means something to me all routes
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Catalog

musicthejax Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-28T06:55:19Z
2024-05-28T06:55:19Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Cognizant_Koala Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-27T12:29:34Z
2024-05-27T12:29:34Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
necrophagy Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-25T06:10:06Z
2024-05-25T06:10:06Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lol1slayer Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-23T00:43:41Z
2024-05-23T00:43:41Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kurosuguri Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-21T21:47:33Z
2024-05-21T21:47:33Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thesunnolongerrises Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-21T17:54:50Z
2024-05-21T17:54:50Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cencilezzi Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-20T01:31:41Z
Windows
2024-05-20T01:31:41Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
batubalci Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-19T20:16:50Z
2024-05-19T20:16:50Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jovanjovan Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-18T15:47:35Z
2024-05-18T15:47:35Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sanx_ Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-17T07:05:30Z
2024-05-17T07:05:30Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nobodyburnhole95 Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-14T05:29:14Z
2024-05-14T05:29:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
viewpoint Milk Outside a Bag of Milk Outside a Bag of Milk 2024-05-13T12:25:37Z
2024-05-13T12:25:37Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (16) Loading...
  • engired 2024-01-16 05:40:33.508104+00
    she's just like me fr [3]
    reply
    • engired 2024-01-16 05:41:19.629163+00
      seriously though it's so short but so well done that I don't know whether to give it a 5.0 or a 4.5. like.
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • longestseason 2024-02-14 13:08:28.027771+00
    currently free on itchio among some other games https://itch.io/s/116600/happy-birthday-to-me
    reply
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  • Potis 2024-03-10 19:45:11.51559+00
    Surprisingly all of the endings are great in their own way, love how big of an improvement this is from the first game
    reply
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  • Aliens2Exist 2024-04-08 10:17:06.07089+00
    hate games with this title aesthetic so much its like post-sporkcore
    reply
    • Aliens2Exist 2024-04-08 10:17:23.633101+00
      normalized mental illness: the game
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • Metabd 2024-04-28 12:14:03.585356+00
    cant have any happy shit in this indie life
    reply
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