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About the Story
Mars is, at best, 13 minutes of light removed from Earth. So when your girlfriend gets on the Commercial Virgin spaceflight to teach at Mars University, you realize the relationship has... a bit of a challenge. Will your penmanship be enough to keep the relationship warm?
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Time to completion: 20-30 minutes
You play Jack, whose girlfriend Elizabeth has left for Mars for a position teaching anthropology. Constrained by cost, the only means of communication you have with her are the letters, and each takes three months to arrive. Three months is a long time...
The gameplay reminded me of First Draft of the Revolution, with the epistolary format and the way branching is achieved. 13 Minutes of Light introduces a wider story arc of political unrest and social inequality to contextualise the relationship, contrasting the content of the letters with snippets from a mockup of Reddit's /r/mars.
I particularly liked Elizabeth's development from anthropology graduate to (Spoiler - click to show)political leader. This game also plays on the uncertainty and tension that comes with such a restricted form of communication as letters: how do you know what the other party really means?
There are some bits which could have been improved to make 13 Minutes of Light more enjoyable, one of which was a feedback system I didn't understand. The game tells you which parts of the letter go off well, which don't and which are mysteriously relevant to the story. This felt out of place with the theme, given that we are told (repeatedly) how long letters take to be delivered - and whose point of view are these from, anyway?
13 Minutes of Light could maybe stand to be aesthetically more pleasing, but it still represents a solid example of epistolary branching IF.
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Violence is the answer to this one.
Mars master list by Kinetic Mouse Car
All about Mars. Does not need to take place on the surface of Mars. Games that take place under Mars' surface, orbiting Mars, on Mars' moons, or even just about traveling to Mars are included. Simply ones that add an interesting twist or...
For Your Consideration: Games from 2014 that should be nominated for the XYZZY Awards by Molly
There were a lot of great games released in the past year, and now that the XYZZYs are coming up, it seems like a very good idea to take a poll of all the games from last year people would like to see nominated. The management has asked...