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Listen to the Staticophone, October 13, 2022
“We’re too young for nostalgia, sparrow.
Go live a life worth reminiscing about.”
These are the final lines of the introductory paragraphs. An incitement to explore the nooks and crannies of this narrative urban maze.
During the first dialogue, I was immediately drawn to the protagonist and their companion. The little inklings of their hidden personalities dropped by the author made me thirsty to learn more of their personal histories and their place in this world.
The setting their meeting takes place in is equally intruiging. There are precious hints of a sprawling city with simultaneously mystifying yet familiar inner workings. Technomagical engineering seems to take the place of our cogs and gears, but the story remains vague about the ratio of familiar cause-and-effect and magical interference. There is mention of storm-powered “jolt” resembling static electricity but also of a crystal with strange workings.
During the story, the player is presented with several situations which increase the narrative tension. There is ample opportunity to shape the personality of the protagonist through the choices of which action to take, and in doing so, to determine the future, the outcome of the story.
I took a conservative path on my first (only, so far) playthrough, choosing to lay low and let the big problems and mysteries be handled by those perhaps better suited to heroic interference with the powers that be.
I learned a lot about the people of Conduin, the great city, and about the power dynamics that drive their society. I survived to live perhaps not heroic, but content with my role.
No point reminiscing about the time you got killed for poking your nose too far where it doesn’t belong…
Very good speculative fiction. I’m gonna go exploring more now, perhaps indeed poking in some darker corners…