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About the Story
"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War
21st Place - 22nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2016)
The Breakfast Review
One of the first things we're told is that there's been an error in the reimplantation of our memories, so part of the game is in exploring and rediscovering things about ourselves, our masters, and our mission. And then we can choose what we want to do about it. I liked this exploration and discovery aspect.
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Parser game, written in browser-based Quest (I've played only one Quest game before, but it's a good interface). More about exploration than puzzle-solving. The title might make you expect something sitcom-y, but that couldn't be more wrong; it's very much a sombre piece-together-the-backstory type of game. You wake up, memories lost, on a spaceship, and you go around and interact with things: computers, radios, things in drawers, and slowly, you REMEMBER. And you make a decision.
The writing conveys the clinical atmosphere of the ship well; I could imagine what it'd look like in a movie. The pace is slow, and unsettling. There is no danger, but there's a sense of eerie not-all-rightness. It's only you, picking through things; uncovering.
The morality at play here isn't exactly presented as a dilemma; it's pretty stacked towards a right and wrong decision. I might have liked a bit more nuance to the proceedings (The "EA" group seemed a bit too straightforward)? But the game isn't really about the decision you make, so much as the why.
I liked the pacing, and the way objects are carefully laid out to be discovered. It's just spread out and gated enough that it feels like you're exploring, even though it's a very contained space. There's also just enough on the ship to play around with that it felt rewarding interacting with all the on-board systems, while also establishing the technological surroundings (I do wonder if there's a better way than dumping a bunch of manuals in the starting room). Everything felt deliberate, so it made me want to be more deliberative.
In this game, you play as a character waking out of a deep sleep before interacting with an alien species.
This game relies a lot on heavy front-loading of information, most of which is not actually necessary for the game, because it generally teaches commands and the most common commands are listed in the Quest interpreter as drop-down boxes.
After the front-loading, there are a few actions you need to take that are more fast-paced.
The storyline is interesting, but I feel like the different parts of the game could have been incorporated more smoothly, perhaps with the manuals spread out more. However, the game is implemented well, and doesn't seem to have any bugs as far as I can see.
Recommended for fans of hard sci-fi looking for a short parser game.
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This is version 5 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 22 November 2016 at 2:53pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item