Allison and the Cool New Spaceship Body

By Tempe O’ Kun, art by Samuel Pipes (Twine; IFDB; play here)

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.15.40 PM.jpg

(Screenshot of starting screen: illustration of a small, hovering yellow and black spaceship with a black screen on the front showing cheerful eyes; the spaceship has two little arms holding a purple backpack)

You are 10-year-old Allison. When you were very young you were in a horrible accident, and since then you’ve used a cyborg body. But today, your parents have prepared a surprise for you… your own spaceship body!

The game is set in a space colony, in which AIs make up a major part of society. Despite that, there is still a distinct division between AIs and ‘true’ humans, leaving cyborgs like Allison in a grey area. The author takes full advantage of the world building by focusing more on exploration rather than plot – its approach felt a little like some of the moon scenes in Creatures Such as We. The writing is rightly described as charming.

Allison is, on the surface, about a girl’s adventures, but the story world has enough detail to allow it to touch on more contentious subjects like discrimination, about identity, about growing up. It feels like a gentler version of Birdland, with its focus on relationships at school (even if, unlike Birdland, those in Allison are entirely platonic), its child protagonist and its themes. Allison is a thoughtful, charming game with a nicely fleshed-out world – recommended.

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