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Kotodama

by Aidan Doyle profile

Surreal
2016

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Number of Reviews: 1
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An outbreak of lethal poetry, April 30, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)
Time to completion: 15-25 minutes

Tokyo has been hit by a poetry outbreak. You, a robot, have been sent to deal with it.

Kotodama is set in a world in which poetry is akin to a contagious disease, and that shapes much of the world-building. This is evident from the first line, and the game is consciously thematically consistent.

The writing sparkles with wit, and the game's use of metaphor (that is, making it have literal consequences) called to mind Patanoir. Kotodama also gives a welcome depth to the world-building by giving a nod to familiar narratives such as racism or the role of immigrants. This seems to have some link to the title: according to the Oxford Dictionaries blog, which the game quotes, the concept of 'kotodama' applies especially to Japanese in its 'purest' form - that is, the language without any loan words - yet, definitions of what counted as 'pure' varied over the years.

Kotodama is relatively short, but is highly polished (I found the Poetry Dojo to be a stroke of genius) and very cleverly written. Highly recommended.