Ikigai is a 12 page, GMless one-shot about the mayfly lifespan of a tiny creature.
I don't know that it's an easy game to get into, for several reasons. The font is a little bit tricky to read, as it's both dark enough that it's hard to distinguish its regular from its bold, and stylized enough that it takes a tiny bit of effort to decipher. At the same time, its mechanics are explained in a way where you'll get a little bit lost if you're used to roleplaying games, and very lost if you aren't.
To learn how to play, you kind of need to completely set aside any desire to understand what you're doing, and just follow the directions step by step. Once you've completed them, you'll have sort of an idea of what you were trying to do from the start.
It's unintuitive, and I wish the game explained its terms a little instead of just dropping them into the text.
Moments are scenes---one person frames one, and then everyone adds details one at a time.
The game is 9 moments long, and at the end of each moment everyone rolls a black die (pebble) or red die (berry), with the highest die determining how Iki remembers the moment.
I had to read through the first half of the pdf probably three times before I was confident that I understood this, and I'm posting this here in the hopes that it helps other people.
That said, despite the initial hurdle figuring out the mechanics, Ikigai hits hard.
You spend the game following and emotionally connecting with a tiny creature that's experiencing the world for the first time, only to have it die in the end, and the fact that you know this the whole way through does not make it hurt less.
I would strongly recommend this to anyone who's patient when reading through the rules, and who likes to feel strong emotions when they play games.
I am not either of those people, but the fact that Ikigai is not for me doesn't mean it's not really, really good.
-Page 4, "they too grab a BLACK or WHITE die" black or red?