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First runner-up - IntroComp 2009
Juhana Leinonen's website
Gossip has a really nice setting (playing a "journalist" of a trash magazine) that had me hooked right away. Playing further lead to a small disappointment compared to the expectations, but I would very much like to play either a reworked intro or preferrably a solid full game. (...) The game is not as much a game or a story but a gossip journalism simulation, but to work as such it should have the gameplay and puzzles significantly smoothed out.
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Gossip feeds on the player's desire to learn more and more about the characters involved in an intricate web of rumors. The PC is a journalist for a gossip magazine, sent on various assignments - from snapping pictures from behind a hedge to mingling at a party to eavesdropping by someone's house. At some points during the game, I felt just a little guilty for getting the PC so deeply involved in other people's business. But any feeling of guilt don't matter here, because after all, Gossip is only a game. And it's a very fun game at that. The more you learn about the celebrities surrounding you, the more involved you become, and the more involved you become, the harder it is to quit.
Gossip was written for the IntroComp of 2009 and to my knowledge, it remains only an intro. But it's a sufficiently long intro with enough game play to keep you occupied for a while. The puzzles are light and well-clued, giving the game an effortless feel. Just settle yourself comfortably in a journalist's shoes and it'll be smooth sailing from there.
As far as the writing goes, I played the English translation which isn't all that smooth. The prose feels a little choppy at times, but that's to be expected. Good writing is one of the first things I look for in a good IF, but it could be easily overlooked here. The prose is sufficiently well-written to set the stage and create the appropriate atmosphere.
Gossip is a solid, polished piece of work that will have you smiling gleefully (until the very last scene, that is).
If you enjoyed Gossip...
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