Number of Reviews: 4
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Engaging Linear Game, November 6, 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this game. It's quite short and largely linear but the story is engaging and well paced. In some places, you are whisked along through the plot without little control of what happens to you. Though that may seem very un-interactive, it enhanced the emersion of the experience for me. After all, one doesn't always have the opportunity to make decisions that shape what's happening.
Another reviewer mentioned a Philip K. Dick-esqe premise and I strongly agree with that characterization. The overall premise and the abrupt changes to the frame of the narrative echo Dick's style very well and create the feeling of a short story to be interacted with rather than a game to be played.
There are just a few negative points that keep me from giving it five stars. First of all, there is a plot hole or two. Nothing major but just enough to pull me out of the narrative flow and make me say, "What?" Also, the system of interacting with NPCs, while interesting, leaves a bit to be desired. The player simply chooses an emotion that reflects how they want to respond to something said by an NPC. When there is an option that matches the emotion you feel and the PCs actual words match what you might have wanted to say, it feels very smooth. But if those things don't happen, the system can be a little annoying.
Despite my criticisms, The Hours is still a solid, enjoyable game that does an excellent job of putting story first and interactive gimmicks second. And that is a huge plus in my mind.