Photopia

by Adam Cadre profile

Slice of life
1998

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(274)
4 star:
(184)
3 star:
(69)
2 star:
(21)
1 star:
(3)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 552
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- kawzeg, January 21, 2023

- TCWT, January 13, 2023

- SirIgnotus (Somewhere, probably.), January 3, 2023

- VanishingSky (Nanjing, China), December 17, 2022

- aech, November 3, 2022

- vivian rabbit, October 21, 2022

- RonFromPgh, October 16, 2022

- sw3dish, October 13, 2022

- Cerfeuil (Happy 2024!), October 11, 2022

- TagoMago69, October 6, 2022

- NorkaBoid (Ohio, USA), September 26, 2022

- SharpNaif, September 24, 2022

- purplepoet01, August 18, 2022

- Kinetic Mouse Car, August 4, 2022

- thesacredbagel, July 25, 2022

- Amun100 (UK), July 25, 2022

- Bell Cyborg (Canada), July 1, 2022

- TheBoxThinker, June 21, 2022

- SherwoodForbes, June 21, 2022

- jgkamat, June 17, 2022

- rowan.du, April 30, 2022

- lleon, April 19, 2022

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Short, simple, unique IF. Everyone should try it., January 28, 2022
by Cody Gaisser (Florence, Alabama, United States of America, North America, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Known Universe, ???)

The narrative content of Photopia is what I'd call a "good little story." It's not the most mindblowingly deep thing I've ever read; but it has some heart, humanity, and empathy to it. To me this in itself is more than adequate compensation for the very brief amount of time it takes to play through to the end.

The real reason to play, however, is the way this "good little story" is told. Unfortunately this is difficult to explain without spoilers - even formal aspects of the storytelling and interface present twists that are best experienced firsthand. Learning-what-Photopia-is-about is what Photpia is about.

(Spoiler - click to show)
The presentation of Photopia differs in a number of ways from traditional text adventures. It tells a very short, simple story. However you play not as a single character navigating a geographical space as the story unfolds before you in a chronologically-linear fashion; rather you experience chronologically-ambiguous fragments of the story from the perspectives of several different characters, piecing the story together as you go. The central story is set in a reality much like our own, but a fantastical side plot is introduced via a storytelling device reminiscent of The Princess Bride, The Fall, and several of Terry Gilliam's films. Certain scenes alter the color scheme of the display in ways relevant to the game's thematic content, cleverly weaving a (non-graphical) visual element into the formal tapestry of this text-based story-game. Photopia's unconventional approach to the form of IF suggests future possibilities in the medium.


While I wouldn't necessarily recommend Photopia to someone who has no experience whatsoever with traditional IF, it is easily simple enough for a beginner's second or third game. It's also unique enough that more experienced players will certainly not want to miss it.

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- civilstat (Maine, USA), October 21, 2021

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fascinating story, limited gameplay, October 14, 2021
by mg51
Related reviews: four stars

It's a captivating story that unfolds in a way that makes more sense as you go, leading you to understand the characters and their relationships to each other. I went into my first playthrough completely blind, so my understanding was absolutely zero when I started and the first few sections made no sense whatsoever, but this didn't at all take away from my experience. It made it more rewarding when I began putting pieces together.

The game's only weak point is that it is more of a story than a game, and interactivity mostly comes down to different choices of dialogue. I understand that this was a choice on the creator's part, and I definitely still recommend giving it a play-through, but it's best to be aware going in that you're going to get a non-traditional, non-linear story rather than an interactive adventure with puzzles.

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