January

by litrouke

2022

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Number of Reviews: 5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful multimedia nonlinear zombie game in grim world, October 12, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This game is self-described as more an interactive novel than a game, and that's fairly accurate. Gameplay consists of clicking different days on a calendar and reading vignettes that happen that day. Multimedia images and animations are displayed on different days, and often the text will rearrange and morph, especially when revisiting days.

The storyline is purposely obtuse, slowly revealing more of itself, with some major shifts. I don't know if even now I'd be able to paint the broad strokes out; (major spoilers for what I think happened) (Spoiler - click to show)I feel like at the beginning some of his family turned to zombies and some didn't, so he left the ones who were still alive and tried to die? Then wandered around, found the cat, met some people, then came back to his living family? Also maybe lost an eyeball as a kid before the change?

This is a grim and unhappy world. This game contains descriptions of violent, painful and gory deaths for animals, lots of zombie-related human gore, disrespect for courses, strong profanity, and suicide references, with multiple gory images. It also features a cat companion for whom things don't always go so well, as well as several positive interactions with that cat.

Overall, the craft in this game is remarkable, and the storytelling is vivid and descriptive. The calendar was a clever innovation, and though I didn't feel a strong sense of agency, I did the best I could by reading dates out of order. The biggest drawback to me personally is the grim and unhappy nature of the game, which is a matter of personal taste.