Capsule II - The 11th Sandman

by PaperBlurt profile

Episode 2 of The Capsule Trilogy
Science Fiction

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Number of Reviews: 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The middle game of a sci-fi trilogy; a Twine game with images/animations, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: IF Comp 2015

Capsule II is an IFComp 2015 game that was well-received by many people. It involves a group of people called the Sandmen who are custodians over a giant ship. Each one spends years alone, and the game deals with their isolation.

The game has some great animations and illustrations in a sort of vintage washed-out/watercolor look (look at the cover art). I think it is just fantastic as in-game art.

The game has some profanity, references to porn, etc., which is a turn-off for me. But all of it fits with the character's personality. Many people have expressed the opinion that they expected the game to not be that great but that it somehow has that essential 'it'-ness that makes a game good. I see people talking about this game for a long time to come.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The Damaging (Damning?) Power of Loneliness, December 7, 2015

Capsule II is the second in the Sandman trilogy by Paperblurt. I played it in IF Comp without having played the first, and it stands well on its own -- although some of the plot may make quite a bit more sense in context of a series.

The story takes place on a massive arkship transporting millions of cryogenically frozen people to a new world. In order to keep the ship operational, one person is kept awake at all times, working in 8-year shifts. You play as one of these "Sandmen," beginning with your awakening and following you in a series of vignettes through your life on the ship. Things eventually take a very dark turn.

There are a few places I struggled with the premise, and the writing style is a little uneven -- sometimes serious, sometimes funny, sometimes apparently trying to be one or the other but not quite being either. The first time I played I honestly wasn't even sure how I felt about the game. but something about it stuck with me, and I found myself thinking about it often afterward.

There are a few things Paperblurt has done amazingly well. The first is the visual style. This is one of the sleekest Twine games I've seen, from a visual standpoint, and it all comes together beautifully. The other thing this game does very well is illustrate loneliness and isolation, and the damaging effects of it.

Capsule II reminds me very much of the game Presentable Liberty, both in thematic content but also aesthetic.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Requirements on an intergalactic ark: coffee and porn, November 19, 2015
by CMG (NYC)

I feel like this game shouldn't work, but it does. You play as a character in the totally improbable situation of being the only person awake to monitor a spaceship ark transporting the entire human race in cryosleep. At one moment that would be fraught with drama in most stories, you find yourself dressed as a clown. The game is just filled with ridiculous situations like this, and it doesn't take them very seriously, but it also does take them seriously. There's real emotion at stake.

Everything comes down to the narrative tone with this game. It's conversational and confessional, and despite the crazy environment, the protagonist usually has genuine reactions. The story also spans a few years, and sudden jump-cuts in time are effective at conveying how things continue to deteriorate.

There are some very nice graphical elements in this game, especially when you consult the ship's database. It looks good all around. Sometimes the writing is rough. Sometimes it's meant to be rough, filled with misspellings and such, but that's not what I mean. The normal prose could use some extra polish.

Whether you want to humor the game will depend largely on your taste, how much slack you're willing to give it. Personally, I enjoyed it.

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