Abate: Hide Behind the Curtains

by Rohan

2022

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
I don't know what happened, May 14, 2022

If I had to describe Abate in one word, it would be: potato. Potatoes are, of course, the most important motif in the game, and they pretty much carry the plot forward.

I find potatoes inherently funny, and they also have immense symbolic value. They're these misshapen lumpy things that come from the dirt, and they go on to provide nourishment and enjoyment to people all over the world. The story of a potato is the story of an underdog. You just want to root for the potato.

It is fitting, then, that our potato-appreciating protagonist and his (?) potato-obsessed foil are high school students grappling with love. This struggle alone makes them primo underdogs, even before considering the temporal anomaly and the encounters with the potentially dangerous goddess.

As a player, I also felt like an underdog, because I never knew what the heck was going on. The plot is full of non sequiturs. Everything from the mundane to the metaphysical goes more-or-less unexplained. Even when I was seemingly making progress, I usually had no idea why. Eventually I reached an ending that left me scratching my head: there was no resolution to the ostensibly central conflict, no follow-up on any of the many unfinished plot threads.

But those are subtleties. The important thing is that (Spoiler - click to show)the protagonist got asked on a date by Murphy, the other potato guy. Frankly, I had been shipping them long before this point. The protagonist is a person as balanced and fluid as a finely-chopped hash, satisfying one passion and moving on to the next; whereas Murphy is steady and consistent, every bit as solid as a raw potato. It was virtually inevitable that these two titans of the potato blogosphere would come together in a dialectical synthesis of sorts, and their romantic union made such perfect sense to me that it made up for all the other nonsense. I felt it was the perfect ending - nay, the only appropriate ending - to this odd game which had left me so confused every step of the way.

I definitely think the prose would be much improved by the services of an editor, if only to clean up the grammar and sentence structure.