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Mike: Let’s not waste time here. Evan’s Remains is something special. The difficulty for us, I guess, it is explaining why, without giving anything away. I’m sure you’ll agree that this game sits in that pool of the story-driven experiences, the likes of Gone Home and Undertale, where the player benefits more by knowing less. But, Alicia, let me first ask you this: what made the game first resonate with you?
I am a collector by nature, I think on some level we all are. I collect a wide variety of stuff; from first editions to retro action figures. We collect things without even knowing it, like personal triumphs or emotional scars. Collecting them all; completing the set, can be reassuring. It’s a way to chart progress, learn valuable lessons and take control of something in this crazy world. Book Of Demons called to the collector in me.
If real-life hadn’t got in the way, I could have quite easily completed the single player ‘campaign’ of Star Wars Episode 1 Racer in a few sittings. Harkening back to the good ol’ days of the N64 (among other consoles), this re-release of a 20+ year old racing game has the potential to transport a player back to a simpler time: a time when 2-player local coop and late nights gathered around a TV were commonplace. The fact that I would have finished it in such a short space of time is indicative of how well it has recaptured that magic, but it is also representative of how easy it is.
I played and wrote about the first Coma game way back in early 2019. I loved the game. From the art style to the story and the way it unfolded. In fact, once I had finished my playthrough, I reached out to the developers at Devespresso Games and chatted with them for a little while.
A very fond memory of mine was choosing a Goosebumps book to read from the bookshelf in my classroom, during our designated reading time. In particular, the choose your own adventure ones. I loved being able to flip back and choose a different path if my story came to an abrupt end, being able to progress and eventually achieve the ‘good’ ending. Well, the Innsmouth Case is just this in game format.
In recent years, popular culture has shifted and I have found myself being horrifyingly referred to as a “retro hipster”. Admittedly, I do collect vintage action figures and retro games consoles. I have done since I was a child in the 90’s. I collect these things because they are tiny windows into the past, little reminders of youth and imagination that I can hold in my hand. Playing through Thy Sword invoked the same feelings of nostalgia and wonder in me.
There is beauty to be found in boredom and a magic in the mundane. Unfortunately, in the case of Farmer’s Dynasty, it doesn’t matter how hard it tries, it can’t satiate the same sentiments. ‘More than just an agricultural simulation’ is the tagline, and whilst this may be true, it isn’t necessarily a good thing.