Galatea

by Emily Short profile

Mythological
2000

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Number of Ratings: 304
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Conversation with a statue, January 25, 2015

Galatea is all about interaction. You talk to a statue. She tells you things. You don't go anywhere, you don't solve any puzzles. You talk. Well, sometimes things can happen to finish the games that aren't just talk.

The statue herself, Galatea, is still one of the most sophisticated NPCs in IF. It's possible to exhaust her responses to certain topics, but there are always more topics. At least, I think there are. I haven't tried every single word I can think of. Galatea gets somewhat irked if one types the same thing again and again; IF players will do that to try and exhaust all topics. Good for her.

While the game may sound limited, the whole goal (I would say) is to tease out the emotional states of the statue and of the player. It's possible to do this in a fairly natural way, and this is the core strength of the game. There are some hints about the impact of Galatea's responses on the player character, but they tend to be muted. The effect on the human player is really up to personal taste. I found some themes dull (Spoiler - click to show)(animate vs. non-animate) and some powerful (Spoiler - click to show)(the goddess Aphrodite). In the end, you have to play the game yourself to decide.

On balance, I think the game transcends its deliberate limitations (a static conversation) to achieve some kind of catharsis (appropriate given the ancient Greek context). Yes, it's an exercise of style, but one that I think is worthwhile. As in much IF (and traditional fiction), the effect bordered on the manipulative, but for me it succeeded. (Spoiler - click to show)(In few games does one try so hard to see if the NPC can die - you have to decide if that's a good thing.)

The game has aged well and hits home. I can't think of a very similar follow-up; maybe I need to play more games.


- Jallarial, January 16, 2015

- dutchmule, December 23, 2014

- siquis (Scotland), November 7, 2014

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
different and interesting, November 6, 2014

At first this game didn't do much for me, because I like plot-driven games, puzzles, etc. But after a little time, I realized how much depth there actually is beneath the surface. Upon closer inspection, it truly is a very well-written and nicely crafted psychological study. Worth playing more than once.


- EllaClass, November 5, 2014

- Witchy W, October 20, 2014

- BlitzWithGuns, September 13, 2014

- Sobol (Russia), September 12, 2014

- nosferatu, August 21, 2014

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A uniquely beautiful experience, July 16, 2014
by Alyssa Barstow (California)

I must have played through Galatea for at least two hours exploring all of the options. It was beautiful, intriguing, surprising, and sweet. I am still amazed at how it felt like a real conversation rather than playing a game. The first and only IF I have played that had no story progression, only exploration. Parser is polished. Overall a stunning must play on IF.


- wendladarlings, June 22, 2014

- Simon Deimel (Germany), May 20, 2014

- PVince81 (Germany), May 3, 2014

- Floating Info, April 8, 2014

- frenolestes, April 2, 2014

- Snave, March 7, 2014

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Behind the curtain, January 31, 2014
by scottmbruner (alameda, california)

I have a lot of thoughts on this piece that wouldn't fit in a review. It's so well written, such a fascinating concept - and perhaps the best IF I've ever experienced that takes place completely through conversation and the haunts of memory, and desire...

...but I was disappointed in how un-Eliza it felt, that I kept approaching the animate Galatea as I might a computer program or Exploratorium exhibit to poke around in and never believed she was a living, breathing NPC. I didn't feel like the things I did had any real effect on her emotions - even though I knew that they did (considering Emily Short's IF talent and other works) and I also grew frustrated that so many of the things I wanted to chat about I couldn't...and then, when I peeked (after a few interesting endings) at a walkthrough, I noticed so many things I hadn't thought of...

...but I was also frustrated I never knew to say get down (instead of leave, step down, come with me) though the one "true" desire I'd had during the experience was a wish to get her off the pedestal.

That being said, Galatea does offer a markerstone experiment for how NPCs can react and be dynamic, though the lack of context and conflict make me wish so much to see her again with a story for me to truly be invested in.


- francisthe3rd (Horseheads, NY), January 23, 2014

- Cloud-Of-Judgement (Eastern Europe), December 12, 2013

- bigotitos, November 8, 2013

- Edward Lacey (Oxford, England), October 31, 2013

- N.C. Hunter Hayden, October 30, 2013

- grainne6, October 28, 2013

- Adam Myers, September 19, 2013


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