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(based on 22 ratings)
About the Story
It's a wonderful morning, and you're ready to come out.
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story - 2019 XYZZY Awards
38th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
Verb Your Enthusiasm (audio)
"...fun, and cute, and funny, and uplifting - I really, really liked it..."
"It's never as easy as this, you know. I wonder if you could read this game as more of just like a coming out fantasy..." "I sort of just enjoyed living in that imaginary moment - however unrealistic it is." "I don't think we're there yet." "Yeah, but it's fiction."
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The Gaming Philosopher
Without being heavy-handed, Out touches on the spiritual feeling of being a mere detail in an incomprehensible vastness. There’s all of this, this entire cosmos, the game seems to tell us; how could you then get hung up over something as small as someone’s sexual preferences, something as provincial as a set of societal norms?
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 5
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Out would have been good to see even if it hadn't been written by someone who'd been reviewing for so long and who had definitely earned their spurs to enter IFComp. The title threw me off at first, because while coming out is an important and personal act, it may be overdone in the community. This game is breezy and short and yet still covers a lot of original ground. I appreciated the lack of angst here, and I also enjoyed that the narrator's specific trait wasn't mentioned.
It allowed me to have a humorous perspective on a coming out of my own that went poorly: my family moved from a state-school university town to the city to near a private university, and my parents were a bit upset I liked that old university's sports teams, because I should prefer the smart kids to do well. And the state school wasn't particularly good at football, so I heard it from fans of much better teams. But liking the state school was just who I was, and the process of identifying as a fan still opens new perspectives.
That's probably a much more strained metaphor than the game, but I like that the game can feel <spoilers>universal while you slowly, um, explore the whole universe. Exploring the world of fandom, and how people deal with the absurdities of hoping one group of people they never met outperforms the second, has revealed something entirely different from more literary communities I like to hang around.
It's tough to have this minimalism mean a lot. And so I like what Out did, or what it did for me. This game didn't take long to play, and then I took longer to think on it than it took to play it, and the time was well spent in any case. Maybe Out will remind you of how you had the courage to be (or couldn't help being) different in a way that wasn't particularly dramatic or practical, and people wondered if you HAD to be that way, but it opened new doors.
This game meets my criteria for five stars:
Polish: I found no bugs, and everything ran smoothly. The game logic was sound.
Descriptiveness: I learned new things. I was intrigued by the game in ways that bled into real life.
Interactivity: This game explores parser space in a way that (Spoiler - click to show)Take, The North-North Passage, and Lime Ergot did. These games take the player-parser interaction and do 'variations on a theme' like composers.
Emotion: I felt a warm glow.
Play again: Sure!
Sobol's been reviewing games for at least 5 years, it's high time he post one of his own. This is a lovely game.
This is a one-way exploration adventure through a world that the player can examine for a good amount of time. With the topic of the game being one of my greatest interests it had an easy time to entertain me.
With this additional topic knowledge it became a fun puzzle to examine all the non-obviously-described objects, although the game doesn't have any real puzzle that would block the player from actual game progression.
One of the few negative points I can come up with is that I couldn't find some objects that I expected to be implemented but weren't. Like (Spoiler - click to show)Saturn's rings (I expected them after finding Jupiter's Great Red Spot), small planets like Ceres and Vesta, because Makemake was in the game for some reason, and then there was no asteroid belt, Saturn's biggest moon Titan, and so on. You can spent some time with this little game to find and not find these objects. Most of these objects weren't mentioned by the game text in any way so I was happily surprised finding some of them, and was only shortly disappointed not finding them.
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