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About the Story
Years ago, orphan Henry Smyth was saved off the streets when he was adopted by Katherine Kellner - only to run away a few years later. Now, he’s finally made a decent life for himself. His world is turned upside down when he finds out that Kellner has been arrested on the charge of being a pedophile. This knowledge brings impulsive decisions and repressed memories along with it.
49th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
The Gaming Philosopher
Good intentions, but one of the endings is terrible
This callous moral and physical destruction of the protagonist is aesthetically indefensible. It cheapens everything that came before. It left me aghast.
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This game attempts to pull off something big: to take an extremely serious topic (pedophilia) and to say something deep about it.
This is hard. People that try to deal with heavy topics often veer into extreme heavyhandedness ("Do you suppress freedom, or give people liberty?") or into almost celebrating the issue at hand (as sometimes happens with self-harm).
This game manages to have strong writing and good pacing. While pedophilia is constantly portrayed as bad (good!) It doesn't make it super clear how we're supposed to feel and act when someone we once knew is accused. The choice here isn't between 'support pedophilia or not', it's between 'seeking punishment vs seeking truth', and 'retreating within oneself vs exposing yourself to harm).
Still, it can get very heavy, but the music is a definite bonus here. There is a credits section, and I tried watching it a few times (it slowly fades in), but I kept missing the music section, so I don't know who did it.
There's a lot of slow text here but it's manageable. Give yourself a good 30-40 minutes to play it, though.
I'm not planning on playing again. The game is good, but it's not enjoyable in the literal sense.
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