Number of Reviews: 7
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A game about playing games and young friendship, October 16, 2021
This is a complex game where you play computer games on a computer inside the computer that you're now viewing. While you do that, someone in real life (inside the game) comments on what you're doing inside the game (inside the game).
There are multiple games and multiple things in real life, and elements transfer from one to another (kind of like IFDB spelunking).
You are a teenage boy whose best friend (a girl named Riley) is moving away, and in a partially-packed house you are spending your last few hours together playing old adventure games on a computer.
Meta verbs are disabled; I opened up the game one day and then came back to it a week later and was shocked I couldn't RESTART. Then I tried it on a different device and the first thing I saw was a mention to use EXIT to 'truly' restart. UNDO is disabled, as well.
This game reminds me of several games of Adam Cadre. The meta-nature of playing a game and a game within a game with self-aware NPCs reminds me of Endless, Nameless. The piecing together of a story and focus on simple puzzles with 'aha' moments and emotional interactions reminds me of Photopia. And the inclusion of strip poker (not my favorite element) reminds me of many of Adam Cadre's works.
Overall, this is a great game. It's fresh, easy to pick up, sophisticated, and ties in elements of narrative IF and classic parser IF.
It has a companion game, Infinite Adventure, playable only using a DOS emulator. That is just an endless series of simple fetch quests. Interestingly, this game is also essentially a long series of fetch quests, making them mechanically very similar and story-wise very dissimilar.
I think the game worked for me on an emotional level. I like almost everything about this game, actually, but I don't think I'll replay it because the strip poker level on an old DOS computer brings back bad childhood memories. However, I'll probably replay it for some 'best games of the last ten years' article, so I'll still give it 5 stars.