The Westport Independent
Top Critic Average
A cleanly executed idea falls short because of flat characterisation and a dissatisfying lack of consequence. If only real papers were this toothless.
The Westport Independent is a great concept that has its moments, but is ultimately too slight to deliver.
The Westport Independent is amusing, but I wish it had more depth
There are so many smart ideas in here, and the concept is neat, even if obviously derivative. But the execution doesn't hold it together, with disappointing responses to extremes, and a strangely anticlimactic progression. I feel like if this were given another six months, the game could be as interesting to play as it is in ambition. But as it is, it's not there.
The Westport Independent is a game of editing the news, shaping lives, and deciding what people think the truth is.
It's not without merit, but it's a bare bones package that is more of a novelty than anything.
Despite not fully realizing its great premise, The Westport Independent is a fun way to spend a few hours. It'll make you think about how influential media can be, but doesn't entirely explore its subject matter.
Add in more than a few grammatical errors, some spelling mistakes, and a few bugs (the ending crawl described how one of my staffers both stayed at and simultaneously left the newspaper), and it's hard to recommend The Westport Independent. Which is a shame because I think it has at least one extremely important learn-by-example thing to say about media bias, and how it can manifest in something as simple as a lie of omission. That's a powerful message, and one it would be useful for more people to understand. To ask questions of the media, people need to understand how the media operates.
The rich districts will only buy your paper if you publish news about celebrities, while the poor also need to know about the industries they work for. This is the tightrope that you must walk in order to survive in the world of journalism, and a few embarrassing typos aside, The Westport Independent does a pretty good job of simulating it.
Reminiscent of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, it's ideal for hardcore gamers, casual gamers, journalists, writers, editors, and anyone who wants to learn more about real-world political issues