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The Story of Mr. P

by Hannes profile

Surreal
2014

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Number of Ratings: 6
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1-6 of 6


- Audiart (Davis, CA), October 19, 2016

- Simon Deimel (Germany), May 22, 2014

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), May 21, 2014

- Floating Info, May 14, 2014

Good existentialist IF, April 25, 2014

by delano (Canada)
You play through a day in the life of a man who experiences a series of strange events. Since I'm not above namedropping, I have to say it reminded a little of Dostoevsky's The Double. Awkward interactions with co-workers; a major faux-pas at a party; things like that. So there is quite a lot of good stuff built around themes of anxiety and embarassment and human relationships.

The first half of the game mainly consists of routine activity. The main character's personality, rather than being described, truly emerges from the actions that the player must perform. The game makes the player fret over little things like getting dressed in private, washing one's hands before lunch, and kissing one's wife before leaving for work. But the player's choices are open enough that the player does not feel locked in or led by the hand; for example, you can lose the game by (Spoiler - click to show)missing the bus.

The anxieties flow nicely into the second half of the game; when you discover (Spoiler - click to show)your rotten lunch, the story becomes much more surreal, and the gameplay involves more puzzles.

I spent more or less equal amounts of time on each half of the game. The mundane first half never becomes tedious, and the second surreal half never becomes overly frustrating--I only got stuck once in the second part. (Thanks to the author for helping me solve it.)

The end puzzle is truly excellent, and it's pure joy to try (Spoiler - click to show)different combinations of clothes and exit strategiesto arrive at different endings.

One puzzle that is troublesome involves enduring a conversation with guests. It involves trying a (Spoiler - click to show)certain number of actions rather than finding a particular correct action. This is a clever idea for a puzzle, because the only way not to win is to (Spoiler - click to show)give up. Unfortunately, some of the game's responses to my actions did not make sense. (eg. The game recognized biting as a completely different action.) The game's responses should have been much less specific given the high number of actions that players are bound to try.

If not for little technical errors like that, I would rate this game as a 4. As it is, it's probably worth 3.5 stars, but the star system doesn't allow for that.

- E.K., April 17, 2014


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