Text Adventure  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Text Adventure  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest Review: Choose Your Own Rageventure https://www.gameskinny.com/gq89u/werewolf-the-apocalypse-heart-of-the-forest-review-choose-your-own-rageventure https://www.gameskinny.com/gq89u/werewolf-the-apocalypse-heart-of-the-forest-review-choose-your-own-rageventure Wed, 13 Jan 2021 14:09:26 -0500 Jason D'Aprile

Werewolves, as it turns out, are an angry lot. You might have noticed as much from their many appearances in film, television, and other pieces of pop culture. Such an indignant demeanor might be because of how much decent hair products cost for lupine fur or the fact that flighty teenagers keep choosing annoying emo vampires over them. Hard to say, really.

Either way, the takeaway is that lycanthropy is big on being angry, and the new text adventure Werewolf: the Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest certainly captures the emotion. Rage and how you, the player, deal with it are major themes in this bit of interactive storytelling.

Heart of the Forest isn’t quite as simple as a typical "choose your own adventure" game, such as the recent and surprisingly witty The Innsmouth Case, where you just choose from stock responses and see where the story goes, though it does mostly play out that way.  

Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest Review: Choose Your Own Rage Adventure

In Heart of the Forest, you play Maia Boroditch, a college student who has dragged along her new bestie, Anya, to Poland to discover her family roots. Now finding herself in the quaint if strange little town of her grandfather, she quickly discovers her family name is not beloved there. Her grandfather’s grave was desecrated and marked, the townsfolk shun her, and weirdness abounds.

Amidst this backdrop, protestors and loggers face off to determine the fate of the massive old forest that lies just outside the town. Logging companies want to profit off the ancient forest and others want to protect it. For anyone familiar with the source material, werewolves are intrinsically connected to the Earth, so this forest is particularly sacred ground. 

For the most part, you’re given a description of a location, situation, person, or you're some shown dialogue, and from there, you select from a short list of potential reactions. Some choices are mundane, others intriguing, but some choices affect the protagonist’s very RPG-like character sheet stats. Rage, Willpower, and Health can all be affected by the choices you make over the course of the story, making your choices integral to progression. 

At first, you're largely faced with emotional responses, but as the narrative progresses, choices can get more physical. If one stat, say Willpower, is depleted, then certain choices won’t be available. The inability to control your rage because of previous choices means you'll likely be forced down a possibly undesirable narrative path. 

Though the gameplay itself is entirely text-based, the game's presentation, with lovely evocative art, music, and ambient sounds, compliments its narrative nature well. 

With all of this in mind, Heart of the Forest unsurprisingly shares a lot with its tabletop roots. The game itself uses the same art and writing style as those sourcebooks, which is a huge compliment. White Wolf’s games are beautifully-made books with a narrative style of writing vastly different from Dungeons & Dragons. The art is edgy and superb, in its realistic photo-style. All of those qualities are present here, in what essentially amounts to a digital version of those materials. 

Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest Review: The Bottom Line

Pros
  • Beautiful presentation is nostalgic for fans of the source material
  • Well written, with an eye on history, diversity, and real-world issues
  • More advanced than standard choose your own adventures thanks to the inclusion of meaningful stats
Cons
  • Feels way too pricey for a short text adventure
  • Little action or in-depth roleplaying

Heart of the Forest is an intriguing diversion. It’s an interesting story with fleshed-out characters, and it makes fascinating use of actual history and modern issues. More importantly, the game uses the source material to excellent effect.

The story is only a few hours long per playthrough, though there are multiple paths to explore. That said, the $15 list price seems a bit steep for a game that would go for a fraction of that upon its inevitable mobile release. Still, for gamers who love text adventures, this is certainly recommendable.

[Note: Walkabout provided the copy of Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest used for this review.]

]]>
Orwell's Animal Farm Review: Cultivating Something Special https://www.gameskinny.com/aqaeu/orwells-animal-farm-review-cultivating-something-special https://www.gameskinny.com/aqaeu/orwells-animal-farm-review-cultivating-something-special Thu, 10 Dec 2020 22:12:48 -0500 Mark Delaney

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." You may not have read George Orwell's condemnatory 1945 allegory about the rise of Stalinism, but you probably still know its most famous quote.

For decades, the superficially childlike tale of animals overthrowing their farmer landlord  — only to descend into their own newfound chaos amid a leadership vacuum  — has been used as a benchmark of critical post-Russian Revolution literature, but its broader message of the corrupting influence of power is timeless.

For that reason, a video game adaptation of Animal Farm has potential, even if it seems an odd project, and the collective at The Dairymen and Nerial found just the route to deliver such an idea.

Orwell's Animal Farm Review: Cultivating Something Special

Orwell's Animal Farm isn't a page-by-page reenactment of the decades-old story, but sometimes it may seem that way. I suppose for those that missed it before now, a spoiler warning is justified even for a book from 1945. I'll tread lightly. 

Its intro unavoidably opens like the novel — anthropomorphic farm animals call for an uprising and cast out the farmer they believe has been a bad leader and worse caretaker. His sudden removal leaves a void, and through conflicting ideals, the animals' once-rose-tinted view of the future descends into chaos as allegiances form, betrayers emerge, and even wars ignite.

Like the book, the game takes seriously the juxtaposition of cutesy farm animals with names like Snowball and Squealer and the political ideals they represent. It would maybe be interesting to faithfully retell the story exactly as it occurred, but Orwell's Animal Farm thankfully dares to do something more.

Though it is essentially a text adventure, there are in Orwell's Animal Farm strategy elements to consider, such as determining who plows the fields, deciding whether the cows distribute their milk to other species, and what to do with excess hay for the winter. Each of these decisions and more are laid out with gorgeous original artwork, still and simple, but lovely nonetheless.

You're given free control over the direction Animal Farm heads in, but after an optimistic honeymooning period with your new government of Animalism, things tend to fall apart.

Every decision feels like it has enormous weight to it. You'll never comfortably see through the decision matrix and know how to keep all your residents happy, and more likely, you'll soon find yourself alienating your comrades  or worse, driving them off the farm or to their deaths.

Each would-be puerile predicament carries the usually overt but still interesting political overtones. Even after multiple playthroughs, the game has its share of surprises, and it's possible to head down a totally new path for your farm, only to painfully end up back on the rails headed for disaster, like a train wreck you see coming. It's really sad when that happens.

I think even if you haven't read the book, the game does a great job of introducing the many characters and causing you to feel for their needs and wants equally, at least at first. You know what they say about equality on Animal Farm, after all.

By setting up a gameplay loop like that seen in Reigns and other political text adventures, Orwell's Animal Farm allows players to sometimes retell, but more often reshape, classic literature in a way that never wavers from the core beliefs espoused in the book. Power corrupts. 

Animal Farm reminds us of this with its bleak ending, once meant to tell readers what happened next under Stalin, but you can find yourself just as doomed following different economic and political ideals on the Animal Farm.

For my first few runs of the game, which is played in up to seven-year chunks — a couple of gameplay hours each — I was beginning to think that despite many alternate endings, none of them would be any more optimistic than the original story's. I still actually haven't found one that is, though I've seen hints that they are attainable, and I love the game for that elusiveness.

It reminds me of another quote, attributed usually to Ben Franklin, where he promised the United States would have "a democracy, if you can keep it." That caveat has never felt more present than in these last few years, and we've seen firsthand how delicate our governance truly is. As we seem to now be coming out of the other side of a half-decade of borderline constitutional crises, it's unnerving and dazzling at once to see a game portray this delicacy so well. It's even more impressive to see it comes from a game that dares to rewrite classic lit in the process.

On top of remarkably recreating the time and place of Animal Farm so well through well-considered rewrites and period-specific art, the game also manages to maintain a high bar for its mood by using some excellently delivered narration and original music that feels of a piece with the era seen in the game. For a game that is mostly just text on top of pretty pictures, it is much more immersive than I expected.

Like reading a book with choose-your-own-adventure continuity, the story can occasionally trip on itself. I never saw any of my choices betrayed, but several times I did see moments play out twice in close proximity to one another in a way that implied the game bounced off its own lofty story branches. This can be jarring, but because it never broke my own continuity, I feel it's a mostly forgivable flaw in an otherwise unique and fascinating game. 

Orwell's Animal Farm Review  — The Bottom Line

Pros
  • Dares to reimagine classic lit — and nails it
  • Great narration, music, and art set the scene
  • Captures the fragility of effective governance just as we're seeing it so much in real life 
Cons
  • Sometimes replays scenes like a CYA novel backtracking on itself

Orwell's Animal Farm is destined to fly under the radar this December, sharing a launch date with the biggest game of the year. It doesn't help that many people simply won't be interested in playing a game that both plays like and is based on a book. But there's absolutely an audience for this game, and if you find yourself in it, Orwell's Animal Farm is a timely, effective reimagining of one of the last century's most notable allegories.

I don't know how often games can successfully rethink classic literature from decades ago, but it definitely worked this time.

[Note: The Dairymen provided the copy of Orwell's Animal Farm used for this review.]

]]>
HERO Unit: Rescuing Others Couldn't Rescue Me From Boredom https://www.gameskinny.com/a4z0e/hero-unit-rescuing-others-couldnt-rescue-me-from-boredom https://www.gameskinny.com/a4z0e/hero-unit-rescuing-others-couldnt-rescue-me-from-boredom Wed, 01 Feb 2017 20:00:01 -0500 Justin Michael

Recently, I've really started to get into the mobile gaming scene. I almost always have my phone close by, and if I have a few spare minutes, it's fun to hop on a little game and waste some time. So, when I was approached to review HERO Unit -- a game that simulates you being an emergency services dispatcher -- I was intrigued and excited.

These were sadly short-lived feelings.

Now, before I go into the "bad" aspects of the game, I want to focus on what the game does right. For starters, the user interface for the game is very well done. It navigates just like the main screen of your smartphone and is minimalist, which is something I really like. An "exit/quit" button would be a good addition but it's not much of an issue on my Android phone. 

The game also plays at your own pace, with the average scenario taking less than 5 minutes to get through. This is a plus if you're just looking for a short break, like when you have to pause Orange is the New Black because your significant other swore up and down they totally didn't need to use the bathroom before you sat down to watch. So, what then makes this game not so good?

Well, for starters, this text-based game is rated 17+ and some of the scenarios are rather dark. I understand that actual dispatcher events aren't all about getting Mister Mittens out of a tree, but the game sticks pretty close to domestic violence scenarios, which makes the game feel kinda samey.

So, you click on the answer phone button and then give your 911 operator line and go from there. Roland is on the line, hiding scared somewhere in the house because his step-dad had too much to drink and is beating mommy in the other room. You ask Roland for the address and he gives it to you. Then, when you're going to dispatch the police in the next choice branch you ask him for the same address that you literally just got.  

Now, this might just be my inner game developer talking, but it's slightly obnoxious to have repeating dialog. It also shows the developers relative "newness" to programming when a simple check could be written into the code showing that you, the dispatcher, already had the address.

Another issue I had is with some of the spelling and grammar in the scenarios. If your game is a text-based game then the last thing you want are those kinds of mistakes. I also feel like the storyboarding for the scenarios comes off as rather generic which made me less interested in playing the game. To their credit, though, the game does have a number of alternative endings for the bulk of the scenarios but they don't really have much of an impact on how I went about the mission.

The game is also really short. It took me roughly 30 minutes to play through all of the scenarios and only 2 of them were interesting enough for me to go back and try to get alternate endings for. The developer does state on their Google Play App page that they do plan to add more scenarios for free in the future, so they are addressing the game's relatively short engagement time. 

Final Thoughts

This is a game based on an interesting concept but just lacking in its execution. The mobile gaming market is a very competitive arena with literally 100's of games being added daily which makes it really hard to stand out. With some more work, I feel like this could be an interesting title but, as it stands, it doesn't do anything to make it memorable or worth suggesting that others play it. 

From reading the "About Us" section of their website, it seems that the project was a "passion project" because of their love of gaming, yet the game is on the app store for $0.99. Even at that price I still couldn't recommend it to other people

I wish the developers luck in any future games that they make and hope that my criticism is taken in a constructive manner.

* A copy of this game was provided by the developer for review

]]>
Mystery Abounds in Lifestream: A Preview https://www.gameskinny.com/gokxf/mystery-abounds-in-lifestream-a-preview https://www.gameskinny.com/gokxf/mystery-abounds-in-lifestream-a-preview Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Glitchieetv

Lifestream, a text adventure by Unimatrix Productions, blends interaction and story seamlessly for a simple yet immersive gaming experience. Unlike visual novels, text adventures combine elements of adventure or RPG gameplay. Lifestream does this through exploration, puzzle solving, and item interactions to further the story. With an intriguing story centered around a missing person, Lifestream showcases what makes it a worthy investment in its demo.

What Lifestream does right is the story.

A man who is withered and torn by a recent discovery sits in his study. That same man then disappears. Playing as his son in the demo, you set off to find clues as to his disappearance, starting with the family home. This is where the interaction with the game begins. A tutorial walks you through the controls then you are set loose to explore.

Searching and inspecting items is a large part of the game. Clues that expand the story, shed light on the character's past, and allow players to solve puzzles are all hidden in plain sight. The puzzles vary from figuring out passwords to finding out how to enter a certain area. While not the hardest to complete in the demo, they did get progressively harder, implying that end game puzzles may be rather difficult to solve.

The only con was in the writing of the story.

While the story line in and of itself makes me want to play more, there are some points of repetition. There are moments where I felt like I had read the exact same sentence as earlier. While as a writer and reader, this can put me off a bit, overall I do not feel like it impacts the game to the point that I would stop playing. It is also stated that the length of the game is equal to a full length novel in terms of word count, which makes the repetition a bit more forgivable.

While the game is still in development and the demo was just a preview of things to come, I would say this preview is quite good. Along with the rest of the story that will unravel in the full game, Lifestream is part of Unimatrix Productions' Storycentric Worlds, where all the games will be interconnecting in some way. I cannot wait to see how this evolves throughout the various story lines.

]]>
The Interactive Fiction Renaissance https://www.gameskinny.com/wjwcw/the-interactive-fiction-renaissance https://www.gameskinny.com/wjwcw/the-interactive-fiction-renaissance Fri, 05 Aug 2016 06:30:01 -0400 Jim H. Moreno

A long time ago, computer video games had more to do with ‘games’ than with actual ‘video’. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, adventuring in video games meant you had to physically type in words with your keyboard (the horror!), using many more letters than just the WASD keys. But thanks to the quality of those outstanding text adventure classics such as Zork and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, scenes from those games are burned into my mind as strongly as scenes from any Ultima, Fallout, or Half-Life game.

Image credit: Subgamers

Now that we’re in 2016, the year of VR (and AR, as Pokemon GO illustrates), video seems to be on equal ground with their games half, sometimes getting more attention, sometimes less. But amidst all the drive for making video games a visually pleasing experience, it’s nice to know there are developers out there who are still making text adventures, and making them well.

Now called interactive fiction, these video games rely more heavily on high quality writing to base the story on, and support the gamer with, along the entire adventure. While flashy graphics may still be used, it’s mostly there to embellish the power of the text, not to replace it.

Here’s a look at five of those interactive fiction games that should be on your playlist. These five are paying homage to the text adventures of yesteryear, while at the same time keeping the genre alive, and pushing it in new and exciting directions.

Kingdom of Loathing

Kingdom of Loathing (KoL) is a text adventure browser-based RPG released in 2003 and developed by Asymmetric Publications. KoL has some of the funniest written lines and humorous graphics of any popular AAA video game. It’s that original whimsical writing and art that keeps me poking in and through the game time after time. Much of the gameplay is an obvious friendly jab at many video game tropes, and does a wonderful job at poking fun at more popular video games and the gamers who play them.

For example, some of the six character classes include Disco Bandit, Pastamancer, and Turtle Tamer. Familiars are available in game, including a Hovering Sombrero, and the ultimate Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. KoL does have a tutorial for beginner players, given and guided by ‘The Toot Oriole’ of Mt. Noob. There’s also a crafting system, where you can make food, booze, armor, and weapons.

KoL is free to play, but you may also give a donation to help cover the game’s hosting, development, and maintenance. The game also offers forums, The Kingdom of Loathing Podcast, and an “unofficial Kingdom of Loathing Shoutcast station”. Really, give yourself a treat today and log into and play KoL. I think you’ll like it.

Fallen London

In 2009, Failbetter Games released their browser-based masterpiece, Fallen London. Take the grand city of London during the Victorian era, have it stolen by a swarm of bats, and sent a mile underground, and you have the wonderful premise that is Fallen London. Add to that a unique and highly imaginative writing style that totals upwards of one and a half million words, and it’s no wonder the game is so good.

The game has an incredibly rich story, with perhaps thousands of different choices to make to get through it. There are no set classes to choose from, but rather you can choose to focus on being a  Watchful, Shadowy, Dangerous, or Persuasive character, or a combination of any and all. You may also outfit your character in the latest Gothic-styled equipment, including hats, clothing, boots, gloves, and weapons. And what’s more, you may own your own house, or ship, and may also get married, if you wish.

 

Image credit: Failbetter Games LTD.

Fallen London is free to play, and offers easy login via social media profiles. It was also recently made available for iOS devices, and I’m hoping there’s an Android version on the way soon, as well.

80 Days

Wanna guess what Time Magazine’s 2014 Game of the Year was? Yep, it was 80 Days, an interactive fiction video game that beat out the likes of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Hearthstone for that coveted title. It has also won numerous other lofty video game awards since then, including four BAFTA Games award nominations.

80 Days was developed by inkle Studios, which, by the way, was only created three years earlier in 2011. Not a bad way to begin a video game career. 80 Days puts you into the role of Phileas Fogg’s valet Passepartout, as you work to plan and execute an attempt at travelling around planet Earth in full steampunk style in 1872. Oh, and you have only 80 days to do it. Gyrocopters, hydrofoils, steam trains, and horseback are just a few of the many modes of transportation you have available. Furthermore, you’re not only racing the clock, but other players, as well.

The game has an ample dose of lovely graphics, both static and moving, but even those pale in comparison to the fantastic writing. And rightly so. For a video game to carry on Jules Verne’s superbly written "Around the World in Eighty Days", it had to be written to match. Showing just how fun and engaging a novel in video game form can be, 80 Days is certainly not one to miss.

Sorcery!

If you grew up reading "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, then it’s a good bet you read "Steve Jackson’s Sorcery!" series. The question is, have you played them as video games yet? In early 2016, inkle Studios published these favorite books as interactive fiction video games. Sorcery! parts 1, 2, and 3 are now available on Steam, with a part 4 scheduled for release later this year.

Shamutanti Hills, Kharé, Cityport of Thieves, and the Seven Serpents all make their appearances in these games, which play out as vividly as their books did. The combat scenes are well done here, kept simple enough to easily get into, while also throwing in enough flash to keep it interesting. Check out the videos of Yogscast’s Lewis and Simon as they play through the Sorcery! series.

Buried: An Interactive Story

Buried (from Bromoco Games) is another early 2016 release, after having been a successful Steam Greenlight game. The game has only text overlaid on background photos, with a dark and creepy soundscape to blend it all together. Buried will probably only take you about 3 or so hours to play.

Image credit: Bromoco Games

But don’t let any of that detract from what it really is: a suspenseful mystery/horror/sci-fi interactive tale that’s well worth the $3 price tag, and then some. Buried has a deep story, with many paths to go down based solely on your choices. Not much else to say about it except that I do wish it would have been an hour or so longer. I highly suggest you get it and play the story for yourself.

There’s my brief look at some current top shelf interactive fiction games available to you. I’m a big fan of the genre, and I graciously hope more video game devs and pubs jump into it and create more great interactive fiction stories. I know how much I would love to see the Zork series rebooted, and this is one way to make that happen!

Sorcery! header image credit: inkle LTD.

]]>
The Dark Knight Director's Interstellar Gets a Zork-Style Text Adventure https://www.gameskinny.com/y0b69/the-dark-knight-directors-interstellar-gets-a-zork-style-text-adventure https://www.gameskinny.com/y0b69/the-dark-knight-directors-interstellar-gets-a-zork-style-text-adventure Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:48:39 -0400 Charly Mottet

If you have ever wondered about what happens to a movie's website after its release, the answer is actually very simple: some sites are recycled for an upcoming sequel, others become placeholders for the DVD/Blu-ray release of that said movie, and others still just sit there forever as a constant reminder for the more nostalgic of us all, like Space Jam

But Interstellar's website experienced a different outcome. Christopher Nolan's "visually resplendent", "thought-provoking" and "thrilling" movie's website has been turned into a text adventure game in celebration for the digital release of the movie yesterday (March 17). 

This Zork-inspired game allows you to incarnate a scientist who has been sent on the Lazarus Project to find a new home for the inhabitants of Earth, the dying planet. Your goal: placing four probes to see if the planet is capable of sustaining human life. The game is well-written, not as easy as you would imagine, and addictive. 

For those who feel lost or confused while playing the game, the website has a pretty good FAQ section

Zork, a popular text adventure game

What is a text adventure game?

There was a time when gaming was not all about sleek graphic designs, and cat-like reflexes were not always necessary to finish the game. A text adventure game is a game with no images, just text. To be able to play the game, the player needs to type in the commands to move forward with the plot. It is kind of like interactive fiction. 

In the early 1980's, text adventure games were extremely popular. One of the most well-known games of this genre is Zork

]]>
Grail to the Thief: Blind Accessible Game is Now Available https://www.gameskinny.com/uwtru/grail-to-the-thief-blind-accessible-game-is-now-available https://www.gameskinny.com/uwtru/grail-to-the-thief-blind-accessible-game-is-now-available Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:12:12 -0400 Mary-Kate Wagamon

Crowd-funding websites, like Kickstarter, are constantly enabling more and more people to make their new and innovative ideas into reality. For example, developer For All to Play used the idea of a traditional text-based adventure, but added sound effects and voices to make a video game that is accessible for the blind and visually impaired. 

Grail to the Thief, follows the story of "Hank Krang, a dirty thief from the near future who recently had a self-aware time machine called the Time Excursion Digital Interface, or TEDI, fall into his lap after a poker game. He has decided to use this technology to go throughout time, stealing priceless artifacts. On his first adventure, Grail to the Thief, Hank travels to Arthurian times in search of the Holy Grail." 

The game, which draws inspiration from sources such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, old BBC radio dramas, and Time Bandits, was fully funded on Kickstarter earlier this year. In Grail to the Thief, players will choose from a list of options to determine what happens next to Hank, which [eliminates] the confusion and frustration that comes with traditional text adventure games." 

Grail to the Thief is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and can be purchased here

]]>
AlterEgo: The Browser-Based Life Simulation Game https://www.gameskinny.com/9bkmp/alterego-the-browser-based-life-simulation-game https://www.gameskinny.com/9bkmp/alterego-the-browser-based-life-simulation-game Tue, 18 Feb 2014 13:55:50 -0500 MandieM

While everyone's been off playing Titanfall and other heavily interactive MMOs, I've been stumbling around the web in search of obscure games that I feel more people should be aware of. Easily one of my favourite games, Alter Ego is a text-based life simulation with plenty of, well, life in it. 

Text-based games have always attracted me in some special way; maybe it's because I am a writer myself. I can more easily form the story into something my own imagination can get hooked on, creating my own mental images in place of rendered wire frames covered in texture that I may or may not like. 

This particular online version is a port of the original game that was released for Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS and Mac OS and was originally created by Activision in 1986. Fair warning: the text and situations hilariously still refer to 1960s and 1970s experiences, so you may find yourself in high school deciding how to handle a friend who wants you to sell "ludes." There's also a bit of sexism present in the game; it's mild, but very reflective of attitudes from when the game was first released. It all adds to the hilarity of the game.

 

When you start the game, you'll be presented with a set of quiz questions. This is easily the least favorite part of the game for me. Simply put, it's kind of boring. But these quiz questions are what the game uses to put together your in-game personality, so don't skip them. We all have to do difficult things in life that we don't enjoy, after all.

The questions can be a little strange. You've been warned.

 

Once you make it past the very-boring questions, it's time to dig into the real fun - being born! The game allows you to choose whether you want to come out fighting, come out peacefully, or stay in a while longer. While this may seem like it has no impact on the way your simulated life plays out, it does impact certain variables. I won't reveal which, because part of the fun is learning the game and how it works. 

 

Once you've officially decided to be born (or you have been pushed out whether you like it or not), you'll enter infancy. This is where the skills tree is presented. This tree is representative of all of the experiences you will have during each life stage. Click the graph bar to see where your stats stand, then and there. Click the hourglass to skip a life stage or to see your current age. Click an icon to have an experience. Later down the road, in successive life stages, you will have access to school, vocational, and relationship icons where you can have a child, get married, attend college, or start your own business. Your choices within each of these dictate how your life will play out, how healthy you will be, and how happy you will be.

Personally, I like to mix things up. Sometimes I intentionally make bad choices just to see what will happen. When I came across the childhood stage that had a stranger drive up and motion me towards his car, I got in the car. Then, I got kidnapped and had to start the game over. Lesson learned! Sometimes the results are a little unexpected, so be wary of trick questions lest the game peg you as boring and unwilling to take any risks in life.

You'll work your way through:

  • Infancy
  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Young Adulthood
  • Adulthood
  • Middle Adulthood
  • Old Age

Suddenly, when you reach the end of the tree for old age, you'll find an experience that has you lying down in bed for the night peacefully, everything feeling wonderful.

After a long, but very relaxing day, with a deep sigh you climb into bed and sink into the warm, cushiony fabric. As you drift off, feelings of intense serenity and well-being overwhelm you. Pleasant images of childhood visit with sweet memories of Mom and Dad, school, and growing up.
The memories flash by your mind's eye with startling reality -- the smell of school on your first day, the flowers your boyfriend brought you on your first date. You recall places you haven't visited for years in picture-perfect detail. Friends and neighbors who have gone on greet you.
They are filled with excitement to see you, though you soon realize they are not communicating their joy in words. It's almost as if...


this will go on forever... 

You have died, and the game is over. The first time around I thought that the game would allow you to play every icon for every stage--this is not the case. There is an algorithm that decides when you've had enough experiences to advance.

All in all, this is an excellent game, even today. I've lost hours playing it. A few tips to follow when and if you play: 

  1. Beware trick questions. Think about each response before you give it; for example, picking the "safe" option constantly will lead to emotional problems later because you become boring. 

  2. Work early, and focus on school if you want to get into a good college and have the money to have interesting experiences.

  3. Drugs are bad, even in Alter Ego, but you will be presented with choices about them.

  4. Because the game does include adult themes like sex, drinking, and drugs, it's probably not appropriate for children. 

  5. If you really feel you want to cheat, a rough walkthrough can be found here.

Since Alter Ego is free, you can get started right now by clicking on this link. Note that you can make a donation to the developer if you choose; I'll leave that up to you. Happy living!


EDIT: It seems as of March 2015, Alter Ego is no longer free. Which is really, really sad. You can still purchase it from the same link for a nominal fee. In my opinion, it's still worth the fee simply based on the sheer amount of work the creator put into it.

Sorry for the bad news, everyone.

- Mandie

]]>
Red Planet Rex - A Voice Controlled Mobile Adventure Game https://www.gameskinny.com/j2g3c/red-planet-rex-a-voice-controlled-mobile-adventure-game https://www.gameskinny.com/j2g3c/red-planet-rex-a-voice-controlled-mobile-adventure-game Fri, 01 Nov 2013 20:06:10 -0400 the_danyel

You are a lone astronaut on a top-secret mission to Mars. You crash-land on the desolate red planet. It’s a miracle you have survived. Your mission was to survey the area and learn the truth about life on Mars. But now with your ship in ruins, a very important objective has been added to your mission: survival.

To progress in the game you must brave the unknown, explore whatever is beyond a mysterious door, and find some other way off the planet. But don't worry, you won't be alone...

Inspired by old school PC interactive fiction games, Red Planet Rex will bring the classic text-based adventure to mobile gaming. Using either voice or text control, you can explore 70+ areas of puzzles, riddles, and alien encounters.

The way it works: your phone tells you a piece of the story, and then you respond to it by voice or text. Depending on what you say, different outcomes occur. You have to use your wits, your humor, as well as your observational and problem solving skills to progress through the story.

By having both audio and text play modes means that the game is accessible to those with visual and audio impairment. Anyone can dive right in and play!

Kickstarter

We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to finish the game and hopefully port it over to the PC.

STEAM, AHOY! (We rrrreeeeaaally want to bring it to the PC.)

Not mention that we have some hecka legit tech inside that is patent pending.

Needless to say, we are pumped!

 

Check us out on Kickstarter:
Red Planet Rex - a voice controlled mobile adventure game

We are all readily available for any questions or comments or general "what’s ups" from our fellow gamers & IndyDevs!
www.cryingrobots.com
Twitter: @redplanetrex
Facebook: facebook.com/redplanetrex


]]>