The Copyright of Silence

by Ola Hansson profile

Humor, strategy, conversation
2020

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Number of Reviews: 4
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
An example of the accretive player character, December 1, 2020

This work is laid out like a board game, taking place in a four-room apartment where you interact with the composer John Cage, his dog, and his parrot. Text tracks the four of you moving from room to room, and different actions become available depending on who is where.

I appreciate the effort involved in implementing these characters. Their behavior is governed by logical rules that can be deduced through observation — you are expected to understand and apply those rules to engineer a specific result.

The blurb for this entry hints that it's like Elsinore or Varicella, where you are expected to fail many times and learn from your mistakes. However, those games immediately establish that a catastrophe is imminent and encourage the player to start working towards victory from the beginning.

If Copyright of Silence explained what it wanted during my first visit with Cage, I was too dumb to notice. There's a stopwatch in the kitchen that suggested a course of action, but the how and why only became clear after my visit ended and I endured the triumph of Cage and the failure of my own character.

The success of this entry relies on an accretive player character who can play through the scenario quickly and have fun learning new things each time. That's where I stumbled.

I might have spent too much time thinking through each of my character's moves, or I might have missed substantial parts of the environment and the characters' interactions, but I felt burned out and frustrated from failure long before I had accumulated enough knowledge to reach the best possible ending.