I don't often write reviews, but I thought I'd give it a go here.
Over lockdown, I imagine thousands of socially starved creatives came up with some crazy ideas for games (or 'interactive thoughts' in this case) , and one in which you walk around interacting with hundreds of thoughts and feelings most certainly seems like it wouldn't have been made otherwise. Some are completely mundane, others are more thought -provoking, and some made me LOL ('THROW THOSE SHAPES'). But they all form the seemingly endless network of thoughts that make up 'Give Me Strength', allowing the flow of James' thoughts to be relatable to all in some way, particularly people like me who like art and want to make it good, but have no idea how or why.
In terms of technical side of the game, there are one or two minor things that pulled me out of the experience. Firstly, I accidentally skipped the tutorial and opening monologue by going to the blue guy straight away, which was fixed by a second playthrough. A more not-me problem is how, in the first level, there are invisible boundaries that make quite a few of the 'red guys' inaccessible; something very frustrating for 100% perfectionists like me in such narrative experiences. However, I'm not sure whether this an over-sight or a deliberate stylistic choice, since we can't access all our thoughts at the same time (would love to hear James' thoughts on this!).
The soundtrack is a great background to the experience, being soft and flowing enough to not interrupt your own thoughts and the flow of the experience, but never in a dull moment when you do pull away to listen to it: like good elevator music, but better and mirroring the echoed style of some character models. The animation style has a similar flow, with excellent and yet so tragically under-used dance moves, which definitely took far more development time than most other things in the game.
I don't believe that such an open ended game is designed to tell a cohesive story. Instead, it allows the player to think as deeply and take as many lessons from it as they can interpret. I, for one, was reminded that good work comes from throwing lots of bad work out there and seeing what people like. While 'Give Me Strength' can allow you to have a good think about the nature of your own wandering thoughts, I believe it is a little too abstract, and requires too much internal analysis, to gain mass appeal. But I'm also fairly sure that making the next indie darling wasn't James' intention, but just to put another game out there and see if anybody could make meaningful connections to it. In that regard, I think it's class.