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About the Story
Who is the player?
Welcome to the 5th annual broadcasted gaming competition known as GameCeption, where you compete in duos to win real money!
This year, it seems like the producers are shaking up the format to something a little more exciting and a little more...high-stakes, we shall say.
Content warning: Mild flashing images and text, some coarse language
48th Place - 29th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2023)
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 3
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Hmm, this game is really intriguing! I had a bad experience at one part and good experiences at the other.
The idea here is that you play as a guy who, together with his best friend, enters a high-stakes two-player video game competition.
Except, things are not as they seem…
The intro is generally a linear story, although there are definitely opportunities to add your own flavor to things. There are extensive images and some background music; it seems like your characters are designed to look like anime high school protagonists.
Once the game starts, you have a lot more freedom. I had fun playing a character playing a character (the ‘Gameception’) and felt like I had real options.
But then…the game changed. And man I got really frustrated!
It becomes a ‘gauntlet’ where you have two choices at a time. One is right, but the other makes you die.
I was worried I’d have to play the whole game over. But it just took me to the start of the gauntlet.
But that’s the only checkpoint! And the gauntlet is really long with some timed text!
I tried 9 times and got so frustrated I had to quit. I ended up opening up the code; I guess I was really close to the end. And also there’s an almost entirely complete other game in the code too, which is pretty wild.
So, mostly fun game, with one super frustrating part. If that part just added some more ‘checkpoints’ I could have done better. Literally everything else was fun though.
GameCeption is "a game within a game" action thriller, where the goal is for you and your friend to win the gaming competition, and win the much needed prize (money!). The game you must play, however, is really not what it seems...
I'll say it out of the gate: I liked this game. It was nicely paced*, with engaging gameplay and choice, and a pretty stylised UI (I'm a sucker for a sci-fi-esc interface). Even if I saw the twist coming from a mile away, I was still pretty entertained, and felt vindicated when proven right! I thought the game knocked it out of the park.
*timed text on replay was a taaaaad annoying, esp when trying to speed run the last part
I liked the differences between the two parts of the competition, both in terms of styling of the page and the text itself. As both parts sort of mirror each other, especially in terms of action, there is just enough distinctiveness between both parts to make it feel fresh. The "parser"-like actions with the links added to the game competition aspect.
While characterised as an action thriller, I think Survival, à-la Battle Royale, might fit the game even better, especially considering the gameplay when the competition starts. Though the interface of the game and the cover art would maybe give the expectation of a more sci-fi like entry.
For a game with multiple "losing" state, I appreciated "respawning" at the last major point, avoiding replaying the whole game to get back to the action.
Maybe a less positive point, it would be in the characterisation of the protagonists' relationship. It was maybe left a bit too vague for the question at the 'interview' to hit harder.
It’s pretty clear from, well, everything that the protagonist is going to be lured into a Battle Royale style game involving real death. So I guess it’s a Battle Royale battle royale game, where the italicised & capitalised phrase is the title of the 2000 Japanese movie about a high school class that has to fight to the death, and the second phrase is the name of the gaming genre named after the film, which usually does not involve real death. Turning a battle royale style game into a Battle Royale style game… yeah, that’s kind of meta. But GameCeption is not afraid of being meta.
(Spoiler - click to show)I didn’t quite guess the plot development where we are actually playing our partner and then have to go out into the world to rescue him. Maybe that’s in part because it makes no sense. How exactly did we control them? And how is it possible that all these players that were originally in the physical arena didn’t die instantly when they were chopped down with an axe / exploded / were overrun by a car, but all had the chance to phone their partners? To your questions there will be no answers. Better to revel in the terribly clichéd but still satisfying survival part of the game, and then the ultra obvious and nevertheless also satisfying dynamite scene. Oh, and the “you are the player” meta joke at the end. You really must turn off your critical thinking and just go along, but if you do so, it’s great fun. And I think that’s what GameCeption wants to be: great fun. It’s not so bad to be the player.
Several reviewers said they wanted to see more depth to the relationship between the characters. But I don’t think that would work. It’s camp! Embrace the cheesiness! Take that car and go full Carmageddon! More emotional depth is something for a different game, is what I think. And if you disagree with me, please hold this bundle of dynamite while I hide behind the corner with this remote control.
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