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We all deal with death in different ways, November 20, 2018
Dead Man's Fiesta tells the story of a young man coping with the death of someone close to him. However, the game never gives the identity of the deceased or the PC's relationship to him. Nor does it focus much on the PC's grieving process - at least not directly.
Instead, the game spends most of its time on the events of the last several days of the PC's bereavement leave. He takes his inheritance money and buys a used Ford Fiesta, which turns out to be haunted by the ghosts of a former owner. The rest of the story entails the PC dealing with these ghosts and what they want while continuing to work through his grief.
The game has a strong voice. The PC very much comes across as aimless, without much direction in life, and this affects his attempts to deal with both the ghosts and the death of his loved one. Most of his sentences feature neither punctuation nor capitalization, which underscores (punctuates?) the PC's aimlessness: It's as if he can't be bothered even to complete his thoughts fully.
At this stage in my life (probably a generation older, and with many more responsibilities than the PC), I have trouble relating. Much of Dead Man's Fiesta just didn't work for me. However, I suspect I might have clicked more with the PC when I was younger, and I bet there are plenty of people who would identify with him right now. My rating is thus more about my subjective response to the game rather than my opinion about its quality as a work of art. It is, of course, hard to separate the two, though.
Several scenes in the game feature well-done illustrations that remind me of the art design in the movie Waking Life.