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Goncharov: Coda

by Lapin Lunaire Games profile


Web Site

(based on 3 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Best played in fullscreen (click the button at the bottom right of the game frame or press F11)
Goncharov (1973) stole your heart the very first time you saw it — and now you're living the dream, playing one of your favorite characters in the 2022 remake of the film. With such a weighty legacy hanging over you, every improvised moment punches like Icepick Joe in the beer bottle scene of the original.
“Make meaningful choices,” the director told you. And by God, you will. The future of cinema depends on it.
Rated R for explicit language and violence.

Special thanks to the amazing musical talents and generosity of these composers for providing the tracks featured in-game.
"Main Theme" by Alix (@caramiaaddio), from Goncharov (1973)
"The Bridge Breaks" by Matt Lee (@nicewizard on Tumblr and Soundcloud), from Goncharov (1973)

Game Details


Entrant - Goncharov Game Jam


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Make. Meaningful(?). Choices!, September 1, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov

Like other entries in the jam, Goncharov: Coda takes the movie-making approach to the Goncharov mythos, where you play as an actor in a “contemporary remake of the film”. Playing as either Andrej or Sofia, the story will take you through the re-enactment of relevant scenes, where you can showcase your wits and line delivery. After all, you are here to honour an unprecedented legacy…

The game starts with the first table read of the screenplay, introducing the team working on the remake - many of the characters having funny pun-y names (especially the director’s name). It is at this point you get to choose which path to act (Sofia or Andrei, supporting roles), and where the first scene sets off.

Though you have two distinct paths, the game is built around bottlenecks. Both paths will share scenes (first and last, disregarding some variation), and out-of-character beats (in-between shooting scenes). The central part, however, is highly dependent on the path chosen, as each is set in a different location, follows a different group of characters, and focuses on different themes (or take on the theme).

The played scenes follow the “canonical” sequence of the “movie”. Starting with the Goncharov’s imminent arrival in Naples, the play indicates the start of new relationships (namely between Sofia and Katya), hints at a change in relationships (Goncharov and Katya), and questions other relationships (Goncharov and Andrei). The middle scenes will continue with this theme of relationships, focusing on how these relationship can also change a person (important especially for Goncharov and Katya), as well as hinting at the culminating fight up ahead. It all ends with the infamous bridge scene, the showdown to end all showdown - I did find that scene confusing, I think there are some flashforwards(?), it’s pretty chaotic.

Another important theme hammered on from the start is the one of choices, or lack thereof. The director of the movie makes a point to remind the player to “Make. Meaningful. Choices” at the start, when improvising certain lines. The middle scenes interactions between Katya and Sofia or between Andrei and Goncharov also emphasise on the choices we make, where they lead us, and the consequences of those choices. Sofia reminds us that choices can set us free, while Andrei will show that other factors, like loyalty, will force our choices to entrap us. It is interesting to see that our choices can be both meaningful and inconsequential to the story.

While it seems like the game is a very serious and maybe dark affair, the game is nothing but. I already mentioned the pun-y names at the start, but the humour doesn’t stop there. It also appears in lines to choose from, with funny one-liners; sarcastic descriptions of locations, reminding you that you are totes still filming the thing; or the almost deranged behaviour of some characters, the director especially had Dean Pelton (Community) vibe. Even the final passage, which is a bit sad when you think about it, was quite funny. I was chuckling throughout the game.

A final point should be spent on the care spent on the UI of the game. Looking like a movie script sitting on a table, with the Do Not Distribute warning at the top, the UI will use screenplay formatting to distinguish between reality and the played scenes. It even goes further as highlighting the actions and lines of the character you are playing (like with a real screenplay) - it must have been a pain to handle all those indents… The UI is pretty smooth to use, especially in fullscreen.

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