Mission Feature


Release Date: February 28th, 2013

Developer: David Rust-Smith

A game about homelessness, by people who have experienced it.



Play the Game:

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Mission is a single-player, 2D platformer designed to tell the stories of four men from the Ottawa Mission and create awareness about homelessness and the services—like the Ottawa Mission—that help to address it. Each level allows the player to place him/herself within the narrative of a different person helped by the Mission and travel across a traditional platforming environment to reach milestones in that person’s life, developing a connection with the person through the interactive medium.

In one level, the player meets Andre, and across the level acquires a pair of shoes given to him by someone at the Ottawa Mission, an exam he succeeded on from a course he took at the mission, and finally his Canadian citizenship. There are also three special objects hidden in each level that are of particular sentimental value to the person whose story is being shared. Each level is followed by a unique “dream” level that expresses that person’s favorite day at the mission and provides fun, new mechanics like changing gravity, rotating floors, or even rotating the entire level.

One of the most notable aspects of the game is that each level was designed in collaboration with the person whose story is being shared, acting as a direct link of communication between the player and someone who has experienced homelessness. In this way, Mission expresses the potential of gaming to empower and connect, and shows us that games can be for more than just the player.

CBC Ottawa, HUB Ottawa


Ottawa Mission, David Rust-Smith


  1. 10
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    The Mission was more than a game, I’d liken it more to an experience. I was pleasantly surprised by this game. The mechanics of the game are simple and the art is polished. I rated this game so highly for it’s excellent highlight of the homeless community and the stories of the four men. Each level is devoted to one man’s story and collected items in the game unravel that man’s story.

    I was so fascinated because each story piece pauses the game to show an image and a 15-30 narrated description of why the object is important to his life. It’s narrated by the individual, so you can hear the passion and pride in his voice. I found myself double checking each level to make sure I had all the special pieces!

    Pros: excellent experience, beautiful stories woven into the side scrolling jumper. Each bonus/dream level has a new ability you get to experience (weightlessness, shifting orientations, etc).

    Cons: level design is extremely basic, however, it’s fitting with the game. Like I said before, this is an experience, and struggling past a certain spot wouldn’t feel right in this game (whereas it would feel right in Prince of Persia). Also this is aimed at a general audience, having too complicated level design would exclude everyone from enjoying this little gem!

    Summary: Polished, easily digestible, may change your opinion on how you treat the homeless in your town. A++

  2. 9
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    Good Idea to make a game while educating people about homelessness. For me it didint work very well simply because its a game, i dont take them as seriously. Overall its fun and a good game.

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