Roads Not Taken

by Doug Egan

Slice of life

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Number of Reviews: 2
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Graduate school and scouting: a series of memories and choices, October 4, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

Hmmm.... this game hit home in several areas. You play as a young man entering graduate school to satisfy his father's wishes. You reflect on your past life scouting as you deal with the drudgery of graduate school.

It wasn't my parents who pushed me, but I did graduate school and also had been a scout. Both parts rang true: boys discussing the forbidden parts of life in tents on trips, graduate school largely consisting of a series of failures aggregating very slowly into a dissertation.

The problem is, and this comes up in so many games: can a simulation of a boring event be fun? And my answer is no. Sure, Farmville and Universal Paperclips simulated boring things, and yet were popular. But they added a social aspect and/or increasing complexity. Just showing the drudgery of graduate school is accurate, but it's just not fun to me.

In fact, the overall structure of the game is pretty dull. Flashbacks are linear, with scattered 'expand' links that sometimes give extra text in-line and sometimes link to another page.

So why do I give it 4 stars? Well, it was just all so relatable. The prose didn't jump out and bite me, but it wormed its way inside of me. The narrator feels like a real person, even though this is a work of fiction. There's just a kind of raw honesty to it all that appeals to my sense of self and my own history.