Developer: Golden Glitch
Elsinore is a time-looping adventure game set in the world of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Elsinore combines strong social simulation elements, a dynamic story that reacts immediately to player decisions, and a world full of diverse characters with secrets to uncover. Can Ophelia prevent the tragedy that lies before her?
Elsinore is a point-and-click adventure game set in a living world where the story plays out around you in real time. Every four days time resets, and you gain another chance to change the fate of Elsinore Castle's inhabitants.
Dynamic Story Engine: Elsinore uses a story simulation engine to determine which events occur based upon your interactions. Lie, forgive, gossip, befriend, or destroy — the actions you can take at any stage are numerous, and the game immediately responds.
Intelligent Character Behavior: Each character manages their own lives, schedules, needs, desires, and plans over the course of each time loop. Even the smallest interaction has an impact on the world around you as it unfolds.
Learn from Previous Loops: Whenever a time loop resets, Ophelia remembers anything she has learned from the previous world, allowing you to access new ways to play.
Use Your Influence: Understanding each character's motivations isn't just part of the story. It's necessary for Ophelia's survival. Characters are complex and have long histories with each other; all of them are keeping secrets.
Life-or-Death Decisions: In a Shakespearean world, most roads end in tragedy, and characters are quick to meet a grisly fate. Hard decisions and terrible trials force players to think on their feet.
Elsinore - Launch Trailer (July 22)
Elsinore is simple and focused, aimed squarely at avid readers who want to manipulate Hamlet with their own hands. It succeeds at this, building a wonderfully meta-textual world that's fascinating to unravel and earns a good few gasps, laughs, and tearful moments, but the long waiting periods and frustration between different events overlapping can grate on after a while. Elsinore is time-looping <em>Hamlet</em>, and that premise is what will likely hook you or not.
Elsinore can be dry sometimes, particularly when you’re hunting for the next significant step forward. There are moments when you’ll feel Bill Murray’s frustration at reliving Groundhog Day again and again, and repeatedly bumping into Elsinore’s Ned Ryerson analogue (which stops being funny after the tenth encounter). But there’s a lot of joy to be had uncovering Elisnore’s emotionally-loaded secrets and, providing you don’t push it too far, playing characters off against each other. Just don’t expect everyone to get a happy ending.