The goal of Hummingbird Mind, from the outset, is fairly vague. The player begins by settling down somewhere inside the introspective mind of a person sitting at their desk. A subtle clue gives the player a starting point, and then multiple options open up to allow exploration of the situation at hand. Multiple paths of sub-narrative branching from these initial options extend and intertwine, forcing the player to traverse them in a cyclic manner as new clues are discovered.
Although a moderate amount of narrative backtracking occurs (depending on how efficiently you gather clues), it never really crosses the line into being a burden. Progress toward the end comes quickly, and the game will only take about fifteen to twenty-five minutes to complete on the first play-through. In addition, Hummingbird Mind gives players new to the interactive novel style a short and polished introduction, and offers veterans enough interesting dialogue, atmosphere, and humor to make it worth playing.
From a design standpoint, Hummingbird Mind excels. The game trims all but the bare necessities, and offers nothing inessential -- no extra choices to fool or confuse the player, no dead ends, and no cryptic goals, no memorization. Pure intuition will be more than enough to carry any player through to the end without great strain. The graphics feel fairly arbitrary, utilizing a pixelized style in both imagery and typeface that neither compliment the subject matter, nor hinder it. The dialogue is the star of the show. It is humorous, while taking itself quite seriously, and intelligent, though not overtly. There is a strange suspension of reality present throughout, but rarely did this make me stop to question the game's logic.
The true beauty of Hummingbird Mind is in how understated its mood really is. The mellow approach of the game seems like the antithesis to a topic more often used as the basis of farce. Great care has been taken to place the player into the mind of an individual with the Attention Deficit trait, allowing them to understand and empathize, or perhaps relate to the story.
One last note. When sitting down to play, grab some headphones, and make sure the game is not purely a distraction itself. Allowing yourself the time to relax and take in the experience is what really brings out the best in Hummingbird Mind.