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About the Story
Xianggang. Mere 20 years have passed and they donít call the city its normal name anymore. Never was a fan of flying here.
Number of Reviews: 2
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Taste of Fingers is a choice-based game by V Dobranov, published in 2021. You are a business man hiding in a cafe somewhere in Hong Kong after something very bad has happened outside.
The gameplay is fairly linear and simple, basically consisting of clicking on text links to unveil optional text or progress reading the story. (Spoiler - click to show)Most of the narrative is focused on exploring your memories, and you have six different memories you can sink into. You only have a limited number of choices regarding which memories to explore, so it's not possible to see all of the game's content on a single playthrough. The game has no branching story paths beyond that, but keeping the player in a passive role makes sense in a story like this which is focused on introspection and fear.
The user interface is quite smooth to both use and look at. It also uses color to create an impression of the weather and time of day inside the story, which works well for setting the mood.
The story successfully creates a feeling of anxiety and hopelessness. It also feels quite topical: (Spoiler - click to show)unrest in East Asia, viruses, isolation, racism, social collapse... a lot of the individual strands of the story here seem to have at least some type of an indirect connection with current events, which gives the story additional dramatic weight as well as potential to depress.
My playthrough of the game took around 20 to 25 minutes, but it does have a bit of replay value if you want to see all of its content. Overall, it's a somewhat short but all the more grim horror story that takes place in a contemporary setting, and it should please those who are looking for one.
If you check the about screen before playing, you'll see that this game includes a disclaimer:
Disclaimer: The thoughts, actions and attitudes of the characters in this work do not reflect the views of the author himself and in many ways contradict them.
This game depicts some fairly deplorable attitudes, including racism, without rendering any clear judgments about those attitudes. Note that the author doesn't say anything about his own views.
But, why not?
(Spoiler - click to show)The game is about the main character hiding in a closet due to a pandemic apocalypse; the story is told in flashbacks, exploring the main character's memories.
Later, it becomes clear that a man-made racist disease has spread, a disease that targets different races differently, and that it turns people into zombies.
But, in the twist ending, it appears that the main character was actually a zombie, but falsely perceives everyone *else* as zombies. He sees a couple of people who he thinks are zombies, but turn out to be government officials in hazmat suits, killing zombies. (In fact, we don't even strictly know that the main character's point of view was incorrect, except that there are multiple characters who perceive the main character as the zombie and themselves as zombie killers, and the main character has a nightmare that agrees with their point of view.)
Why tell this story about racists without taking a point of view? Is the moral of this parable that racists and anti-racists are both equally right, or equally wrong? Are they at odds because they're all insane, unable to perceive each other's points of view? (Or is it just the racists who are insane in this way? Are we all insane racists?)
Zombie stories have a long history of racism, and a long history of erasing their history of racism from the public eye. "Pop culture has used the zombie, fraught as it is with history, as a form of escapism, rather than a vehicle to explore its own past or current fears."
I'm afraid that the author's answer is to shrug: I dunno, I just wanted to tell a zombie story about racism because it's fun. Come on, man, can't we tell a fun, escapist story about zombie pandemic racism now and then?
To that, I say, no. Zombie stories don't have to be fun or escapist, but when they are, it's because the zombies are simply evil, without moral complications. There's nothing fun about suspending judgment about zombie pandemic racism. If the author was aiming for fun, the added racism themes and moral dilemmas work against that goal.
And if the author wasn't aiming for fun, then what's the point? To raise the question "is racism as bad as anti-racism?" Why??
This is version 3 of this page, edited by Dan Fabulich on 18 October 2021 at 5:34am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item