Back to video games we go.
Page 5, Game 14: Four Horsemen, by Nuclear Fishin’ Software
Maaaan. Talking smack about a one-page RPG adventure is one thing. But this … this is clearly somebody’s baby.
This is an interactive-novel style game about four kids of a Foreign ethnicity — two locally-born boys, two refugee sisters — making their way in a country that will take every opportunity available to be over-the-top racist as fuck to them. I suspect there is one absolute hell of a game hiding under this one, but I simply was NOT feeling it. The story is awkwardly presented, and I was too confused about the basics of what was happening to be fully engaged. (Are they ALL refugees? No, just the girls. Is this a new home they’re creating? No, it’s just like an afterschool clubhouse. Do they ALL have families they can go home to, or is it just James? I … think they do? I’m still not sure. Why is that racist local just a slightly palate-swapped version of Tough Girl? That HAS to mean something, right?)
There’s a crafting system that seems weirdly inconsequential. There’s a resource-gathering mechanism that I’m pretty sure is meant to make me feel how frustrating it is to not be able to afford anything and just get by on scraps, but it just felt clumsy and arbitrary.
Meaningful decision points felt few and far between. Most of the time, it’s just click and read, click and read, click and read.
I really, really want to be engaged by this game; it’s very clearly coming from someone with something to say. But my experience was just too frustrating. The ending I got was clearly a terrible one, but for the life of me I’m not sure how I got there or what it all meant. I wasn’t moved, I was just … annoyed.
Also, no fascists were punched, ever. Extra frustration.
Ah, well. They’re not all gonna be winners.
Perhaps the next one will be better.
And that next one is Page 20, Game 12: Far From Home, by ehronlime
“A game about immigrants and outsiders”
Ah, looks like I’ll be staying with a theme here.