Atmosphere can mean a lot, I find. The mood a game makes can raise it beyond its shortcomings, you need only look at the world of visual and sound novels to see this in action. They use word choice and visuals to create a mood that sucks you in and engages, despite a lack of mechanical play. These games choose to take advantage of a certain set of techniques to create works you can lose yourself in, while others use it as a flourish or major addition to enhance the experience. Survival Horror games love using atmosphere in one way or another, especially Silent Hill, Siren, and the Nanashi no Game series (look it up). But atmosphere is more than strange or dark. It can be whimsical or childish, like Kirby’s Epic Yarn or Yoshi’s Island, or maybe wacky and erratic, a tone you commonly find in old point and clicks. One I rarely see explored, though, is nostalgia.
Enter Backstreets of the Mind.