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A lot of unrealized potential..., May 23, 2021
This game belongs in the nascent genre of "games about online relationships that simulate a computer interface", along with stuff like Digital: A Love Story, Emily is Away, Secret Little Haven, Lore Distance Relationship, Lost Memories Dot Net, and maybe A Normal Lost Phone (there has to be a better name for this genre). The game is about a woman who gets an AI gf via Facebook, who is getting cyberbullied (and irl-bullied) for unspecified reasons, who uses the AI gf as a way of coping with irl problems.
There's a lot of potential with this concept, but the game doesn't follow through. There's a pervasive lack of specificity, like the game is refusing to take a position on any of the ideas it presents. The characterization is sparse; we know that the protagonist is a lesbian college student who's kind of sad, but that's all we know about her. Is she supposed to be a reader-insert? I did not feel connected to the protagonist even though I'm the kind of person who would be interested in AI companions. If the protagonist were to be a reader insert, then there should probably be more dialogue options to address a wider range of possibilities. If she's supposed to be a specific person, then there should be more characterization. The backstory in general is pretty vague, in contrast to many other games in this genre which are often all backstory. The chats with AI gf were decently written and could be interesting, but they're hindered by a lack of depth.
The elephant in the room is the question of why there so much bullying against the protagonist. It didn't feel believable to me. Things like that don't happen just randomly; these are modern college students, not elementary school kids. I don't think it's supposed to be homophobia. Part of me thinks that Facebook is deliberately engineering a bullying campaign against her so that she seeks out the AI gf (shades of its emotional manipulation research). But there's no textual evidence to support that.
There's a static Facebook interface implemented, but the amount of actual interactions is highly constrained; most of the text that one would assume to be links actually do nothing. The images used are all obviously stock photos, which really throws me off, and makes it harder for me to be immersed in the story. I would feel better if there were only text posts. This relates to the lack of specificity; none of the characters feel like people or even characters, besides maybe the AI gf. I want to say that it's a deliberate choice, to make the AI gf the center of the protagonist's life, but it didn't really work for me. I couldn't suspend disbelief.
This is a rather short game, about 10-20 minutes for me. The game is a gauntlet until the final choice, with two potential endings. I enjoyed playing through it, but I feel like it could have been more.