Elea - Episode 1
Developer: Kyodai Ltd
Publisher: SOEDESCO Publishing
Genres: Interactive Story, Adventure
Elea's first instalment gets less interesting as it goes on, and if that trend continues then Episode 2 could fall flat, especially if bugs and performance problems remain. But it sets up a fascinating world that promises a deeply personal story, and it's not afraid to switch gear and throw odd, dream-like sequences at you. By playing with your expectations, it makes you want to push on just to see what's around the corner.
Something I've come to realize over the past year or so is that I have a strange fascination with confusing narrative games. There's a crucial difference between confusing and nonsensical, obviously, but games that have you questioning the sanity of their playable character and constantly wondering if they're an unreliable narrator or simply lucky/unlucky enough to be wading through uniquely bizarre circumstances are a real treat, and Elea – Episode 1 falls neatly into that category. Taking place in a future with space travel, sentient AI helpers, and a pocket full of reasons to leave Earth behind in search of greener pastures, it begins the story of River Elea Catherine Jones as she looks into the fate of her husband after his expedition to colonize a new planet goes silent.