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Someone Else's Story

by E. Joyce profile


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(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story

Naples, 1973. The local Camorra are embroiled in a struggle against Russian mobsters trying to horn in on their territory. The boss thinks Katya Goncharova knows something, and Sofia has been ordered to find out what it is. But does she want to?

Game Details


Entrant - Goncharov Game Jam


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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
How good of a honeypot will you be?, September 1, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov

Told from the point-of-view of Sofia, Someone Else’s Story takes a look at the start of the relationship between two side characters: Sofia and Katya, two women linked to big characters whose actions will drive the “story”'s plot. Spanning a conversation, you were tasked to extract information from the lovely newcomer. Will you managed without her noticing?

Someone Else’s Story is a fairly short game mixing choices, to drive the conversation forward, and hypertext*, to provide additional contextual information to the scene or about Sofia’s state of mind. Each choice provide variation in the next screen, with some even adding an option to the choice-list. The combination of all choices made throughout the game will determine how the conversation between you and Katya ends.

To get information from Katya, you must ask the right questions, in the correct manner. Though you have multiple choice available to you, from flirty to pushy, the type of questions asked may tick Katya that something is up, or may just confuse her. She will comment on the matter, before ending the conversation and leaving for the night. You do not learn, however, whether how successful you were at your task. Though, as Katya warns, when one is this expendable, does it truly matter?
(kinda yes… i always want to know how well i did.)

The game raises an interesting point, hinted by its title. Though you are the main character of this game, this short story, Katya may tell you that you are just a pawn in someone else’s story. You may drive the plot in this beat, but someone - your boss - is pushing you to this point in time, requesting things from you to further his story. You may down the line have a relationship with Katya (not in-game), but it will still be framed around other more important players - your struggles being a continuation of theirs.

Still, the illusion of agency still hods, even after replays. You may not be a major player, but the game makes you feel like your actions actually matter in this story, that they actually may change the course of the night. Even if, ultimately, it won’t - Katya will always try to change the subject, or look at her watch, signalling the end of the conversation. Your efforts don’t feel in vain.

While the game will mention a few important characters to the main lore or themes, the strongest one emanating from this entry is the concept of time. You are limited in time to find information for your boss about Goncharov before he potentially makes a move, to extract information from Katya during the party, before time inevitably cuts your effort short - when the watch strikes “twelve”. But there is maybe a more ominous limitation from Katya’s final remark: the time left before you will get hurt (if you continue snooping, that is).

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by EJ on 19 February 2024 at 6:32am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page