night confessional

by sweetfish profile


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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Is anyone listening?, January 24, 2024
by Cerfeuil (*Teleports Behind You* Nothing Personnel, Kid)
Related reviews: Shufflecomp 2023

"...the new confessionals proliferated. They assign penance through complex and unknowable mechanisms, utilizing the latest advancements in computational theology. To many, confession whispered through a handset feels closer to God. Machines, after all, are humanity's bridge to the divine."

Really liked this game. Intimate, heartfelt, and true to life. Quite beautiful too.

The concept of coin-operated confessional booth is wonderful. It's the unity of man, machine, and divinity that gets me, the idea of God living in the wires and responding, in God's unknowable way, to what you have to say. And I love the concept of anonymous messages whispered in the dark, where you don't know who or what will ever hear you. Messages offered to anyone out there, if anyone's there at all.

It reminds me of websites out there where you can read anonymously-sourced confessions ( and come to mind, though a brief web search reveals dozens of sites like them). An alt-universe Internet, of sorts.

I thought you might be playing as someone offering a confession to one of these booths, but you're actually playing as the machine. Which is a killer concept, cherry on the cake really. There's only a limited amount of interaction you're allowed with people, because you can only interface with them through the machine. They can confess their deepest, darkest secrets to you and your only way to respond is through the perfectly mechanical choice of whether you accept the confession or not, and if you do, how many Our Fathers and Hail Marys you assign to them. You can't respond, you can't comfort or criticize them, you can't let them know you're there, even though you are. Yet the confession is only given because the interaction is so mechanical and impersonal that it's almost like nobody is there at all.

I'm also a fan of the setting: an alternate world much like our own, with comparable technology but a new history and new countries that imply a beautifully strange world beyond the confines of the tiny place we see. Reminds me of Disco Elysium a bit. And I gotta mention the sound and visual design, which sells the "just another night in a strange city almost but not quite like our own" ambiance. You see the city sleep, and you see it wake up again. Incredibly immersive. This game is great.

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