BLACKOUT

by Playahead Games


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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
What matters in the end?, November 21, 2022
by Draconis
Related reviews: Ectocomp 2022

The Singularity has come. The world (as you know it) will end in seven days. What will you do?

This is a melancholic, somewhat mournful short story with a choice-based interface. It has the odd interface gimmick that the first click on any link just distorts it into a blurred mess, and you have to click it a second time to actually do anything; I’m not sure what purpose this serves, except to make certain “click a link within three seconds or the game will do it for you” choices even more annoying.

Interface aside, I enjoyed the story a lot. You have seven days left to live. There’s only one choice: what will you spend those days doing? Going out and interacting with the people around you? Or staying in and trying to work on your art? Neither of them really means anything, in the end—neither your work nor your friends will outlive you. So what meaning will you make of them? The writing is sad and bleak, but also more than a little bit hopeful, in an existential way.

Like with Cell 174, this is a work that I’d call a short story rather than a game. The focus is really on the writing, and what it encourages the player to think about. If you knew this was the end of everything, that nothing in your world would exist a week from now, what would you want to be doing? What would matter to you? The game somewhat tries to offer an answer—if you try to (Spoiler - click to show)split your time between writing and socializing your character regrets it all at the end—and I somewhat wish it didn’t. But there is plenty to contemplate, all the same, and this work has a particular feel that’s unlike anything else in the comp.