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About the Story
Partial demo for P-Rix - Space Trucker: a Sci-Fi slice-of-life Interactive game.
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: December 17, 2022
Current Version: 1.5
Development System: Twine
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
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Number of Reviews: 1
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P-Rix – Space Trucker told in third person past tense from the perspective of a PC named P-Rix, a trucker who agreed to a sketchy delivery with the promise of earning a high reward. But partway through the journey and accident occurs. The ship had a collision with an unknown object. A collision that damaged the cargo bay. You know, the place where the super-secret cargo is held.
It is also a demo. For future reference, that’s what this review is about.
The game begins with a message saying, "Alert! System Breached! Alert!" that pulls P-Rix out of sleep. Here, the bottom screen faintly blinks red to simulate an alarm going off. Just one of many cool visual effects found in this game.
The first few puzzles are about fixing the ship’s critical status. The ship is losing oxygen and fuel, and a careless mistake results in death. There are plenty of insta-deaths in this game. The player typically has two options at a time to search and fix the ship. I liked the sense of danger and urgency that is conveyed right from the start. If only I knew what was in that cargo…
Story + Characters
As expected, the story is minimal. We know that a client, an ambiguous “they” looming over our heads, made the request for a delivery to NA-Dux 16T-8R, one of the most dangerous areas of the universe. Given there is a demo, we only see a little of this pan out. We do hear a mention of a contractor named Mr. E in regard to the cargo. The client, maybe? The game ends when you (Spoiler - click to show) finally get the space trucker’s rig up and running only to have to seek out more extensive repairs at the nearest interplanetary mechanic stop.
Likewise, info on the protagonist is also limited. There is some repetitive swearing that loses its potency after a while, but the game never breaks from P-Rix's flustered character. It's hard to tell if he is a slacker or just had been dealt a really bad set of cards. We only get a sense of his situation beyond dealing with an immediate emergency. It should be noted that the only reason why he agreed to the delivery was because of the number of zeros at the end of the payment. Makes for a compelling story.
This, in my opinion, is the main event in this game. So far, at least. I was really impressed with how visual elements are used to tell the story. Attractive appearances go a long way, but when they enhance the storytelling itself, that's when the bonus points start coming out. Hence my long discussion of it.
After a brief intro, the visuals transform into a large console-like text box against a pink tinged star field background. The console is broken into six panels, the main two being the top half that shows the ship's status, and the panel beneath it where text is displayed. I wish that part was a little bigger, but it is a minor hindrance. There are also stats (yay!) for the cargo, oxygen, and fuel, although the game is not long enough to really see these features in action.
The game occasionally switches things up with a new screen depicting a diagnostics page with a striped green and black backdrop behind a large green text box area in the center. It uses a mix of scrolling text and glowing letters to add to the atmosphere. Even some character graphics are introduced, but the game ends soon after that.
The star field takes up a little more than a half of the backdrop space, starting from the top of the screen and moving downwards. The bottom half is black with a curved glowing edge, like the event horizon of a black hole. Everything, both the backdrop and the console, has a rose red pink colour that later turns purple once the ship is repaired. A ship icon then appears on the display panel. Then… the animation kicks in.
What's wild is when the star field then moves towards and under the bottom half to create the impression that the ship is moving. Have you ever stood on a pier at the ocean and feel like the pier was moving when in fact it is the motion of the waves giving that impression? It’s like that. But with Twine. This was brilliant. This is what I meant by the game using visual effects to tell the story of traveling through space.
A similar example can be found in another Twine game, To Spring Open. It uses a bouncing text effect to simulate a ride on a subway train. Both cases demonstrate the merit of experimenting with visual elements to change how the player experiences the story.
Lately, there have been quite a few high-quality Twine demos floating around IFDB made by a wide variety of skilled authors. These Twine games are beautifully designed with either elegant simplicity or with impressive visuals. They make waves as quality demos, often with eye-catching cover art. I just hope that the authors continue to pursue them. Including this one. No pressure but including P-Rix – Space Trucker. The title alone is worth checking out.
THIS IS THE END OF THE DEMO. MORE CONTENT WILL BE ADDED IN THE FUTURE! THANK YOU FOR PLAYING!
Please, please, please, keep developing this. Finish it. I want to play more of this space truckin' adventure. It's already off to a great start.
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