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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 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
The Westport Independent might be set in the '40s, but its commentary feels very modern, seeing how we live in an age where newspapers, even if they do not wield the same influence that they did, still represent one of the main ways for the public to learn about political, social and economic events.
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.
Unlike Papers, Please, where you are making serious decisions right in the face of desperate and sympathetic people, The Westport Independent is a little too distant and removed from the individual to resonate on an emotional level. The game does deliver scenes between levels that color some of your writers' inner lives, but they are too minor to establish much empathy for, say, a writer disappearing by the regime's hand in the post-game wrap up.
The premise of The Westport Independent sure is interesting, sadly, it's execution falls short. I feel here's a bit of history lacking, and no climax whatsoever. With a bit more work, this might've been a great game, such as Papers Please was. It still is an entertaining game given it's short duration, although it's repetitiveness eventually bored me and eventually i no longer cared about which news i filtered and which ones i didn't. Definetly a very interesting concept, with lots of potential, it just wasn't delivered properly.
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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.