by Peter J. Favaro, Ph.D.
Yes, I’ll admit the “Ph.D” was rather offputting. Surely anyone who feels the compulsion to put their academic qualifications in a piece of interactive fiction is writing this as part of some paper, or just really anxious to let people know that “Hey! I’ve got a PhD!!!”
It’s a life simulation game, basically. Where your actions and attitudes affect how you turn out in the end. What makes it interesting is probably that it’s a Choicescript adaptation of a
Much spoilers below.
Things I liked:
- I liked the sandbox nature of the game – it felt like an RPG, albeit a superficially WASPish one (i.e. white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) set in a generic ‘Murica.
- The platform suits the game, and the customisation of the interface was well done.
- Well done, too. I got emotionally involved.
- The author(s) are aware of requests for features, and I realise that adding those in would be a Herculean task.
Things I didn’t like:
- vagueness of NPCs – any details about ‘your best friend’ or ‘your mother’ are kept very, very vague. Just names, like Cindy or Mrs Hendrick, which tell me nothing.
- vagueness of details in general – As above, the whole game is set in some white-bread, generic, one-size-doesn’t-quite-fit-all ‘Murica.
- sections on the Intellectual Sphere use trivia questions to gauge your intellectual ability. This feels lazy. Google is your brain. (*note: the authors are aware of this)
- So when I say ‘life simulation game’, I mean ‘simulation of life as a white cis male/female in a generic American setting’.
- attitude + action combinations which aren’t compatible… well, these don’t make too much sense. As a sandbox game, I’d like to have as much flexibility as possible. And then, according to the authors, it’s a game which clocks in at 220, 000 words, so.
- some of the conclusions drawn by the narrator were trying to assume a lot. Being excited for a sleepover means you don’t appreciate the security your parents provide??
I liked the direction of the game, though, and the variety of options already present are quite generous.