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by Paul Gresty


Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Infiltrate the enemy as a psychic spy, leaping from body to body by touch! But when your own body is stolen, you’ll race against time to find it before your mind disintegrates.

“The ORPHEUS Ruse” is a thrilling interactive spy novel where your choices control the story.

What secrets have your mentors been keeping from you? Can you trust your friends when you don’t know whose face they’re wearing? What will you sacrifice to hide your powers from the world?

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A unique game about psychic secret agents with lots of built-in failure, March 7, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This is definitely an unusual Choicescript game. You are a psychic that steals bodies, and you're caught in a war between two psionic organizations.

In a way, it contrasts with Jim Dattilo's A Wise Use of Time. Both are Choicescript games where you a human with an exceptional power (in that game, stopping time; in this game, possessing other people with your psionic powers).

The time stopping game worked really smoothly but had fairly dull uses of your power: taking a break before work, keeping a kid from scraping her knee.

This game shows off all sorts of psionic powers in amazing and creative ways, from the first chapter to the last. The aspects of having and using an awesome personal power really stick out.

Storywise, it worked very well for me, one of the stories I've most enjoyed in the game. And, having played a lot of Choicescript games with weird choice sets, I felt comfortable picking a path through much of the game.

However, I see this game down by mine near the bottom of the sales charts almost every week. Why?

I think a lot of it has to do with the inherent failures in the game. One thing I learned from playing and writing parser games is that no one will ever find a puzzle where you have to die to proceed, because dying is perceived as failure and people will UNDO to win.

But there is no UNDO in choicescript, and most games provide no saves. Every game is in hardcore mode. So when the game pulls things that feels like failures, you either have to accept that your whole run is ruined or restart. And if it happens more than once, you might as well give up.

There are several times in this game where you have to either go against some major principle you have or lose much of your skills. One major choice can completely reset one of your opposed stats. Often the game will tell you you messed up or did everything wrong.

I think that this 'fighting against all odds' improves the story, but it makes the gameplay pretty grim, and I believe that has contributed to the low sales of the game.

This game has faults, and I don't think I can recommend it for a pleasant experience, due to the above issues. Content-wise, it has strong profanity, moderate violence and optional sexual encounters. Despite these things, it satisfies all 5 points of my 5 point scale (being polished, descriptive, has good interactivity, emotional impact, and I would play again).

I received a review copy of this game.

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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Dan Fabulich on 28 January 2014 at 12:59am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page