Number of Reviews: 4
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Save the world, or try again, March 9, 2021
Stay? is a game with a time loop as its core mechanic. You'll go back in time over and over in order to save the magical world of the game from a comet that will destroy everything. Each loop took no more than 10-15 minutes, shorter on repeats since you don't have to re-read text, but there might be a lot of loops.
Within each loop, the world can change a great deal. Your choices affect the entire shape of the plot, which runs for a period of 10 years, from entering magical college, through adulthood, until the destruction wrought by the comet. It's kind of a life simulation, where you play through key moments in the player character's life, and skip over years of "boring" stuff. There is a lot of branching; you can win, lose, or avert a war, enter into any number of relationships, pick one of at least three different professions, and either fail or succeed in stopping the comet. By exploring the different branches, you gather information, and eventually can craft a path that allows you to stop the comet's impact. But even if you succeed, you might still redo the time loop because you failed to save a key character.
I really enjoyed this game. I liked the balance between a lighthearted and more serious tone. I enjoyed the relative sparsity of the prose, which belies a lot of complexity and worldbuilding. I liked the depth of characterization; all of them have hidden aspects and secrets that might only become apparent on multiple playthroughs. There is a lot of depth to this game in general.
It took me almost 15 loops to finally defeat the comet, but there is still a lot of content I missed.