Passage is meant to be a memento mori game. It presents an entire life, from young adulthood through old age and death, in the span of five minutes.
Passage represents life’s challenges with a maze. The screen geometry only allows you to view a narrow slice of this maze at any given moment. You can see quite a distance out in front of you (and, later in life, behind you), but you can’t see anything to the north or south. You may see a reward up ahead but not be able to see a clear path to it. In fact, after a bit of exploration, you may discover that a seemingly-nearby reward is in fact unreachable. As you go deeper into the maze to the south, the path becomes more convoluted, though an obstacle-free route is always available to the north. However, treasure chests are more and more common as you go deeper into the maze. You can spend your time in pursuit of these hard-to-reach rewards, or you can explore and enjoy the scenery that unfolds before you to the east. As you grow older, your view of the territory in front of you shrinks, and navigating new areas in life’s maze becomes more difficult.