Shade

by Andrew Plotkin.

Another critically acclaimed game!

As the help text suggests, this is a one-room game set in the PC’s apartment. Sounds unremarkable! As the PC, you’re all set and ready to leave for Death Valley for some art festival. You’re all packed, just waiting for the taxi when… where are your tickets?

Language: Nothing much to say. There is purposeful use of background ‘props’ such as furniture, possibly symbolic, though I haven’t quite wrapped my head around that yet.

Plot: Soon after finding the tickets, the story takes a surreal turn. The PC’s cool, almost detached narration belies the growing weirdness of the whole situation as the room morphs into something almost unrecognisable. The baffling ending may confuse some, but Shade is one of those games which you have to play more than once to fully understand.

Mechanics: Nothing remarkable. There is a kind of hints system, or at least a list of ‘things you have to do to progress’ in the form of a changing to-do list, also a sly hint about hint systems in the form of the help text.

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