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Aisle

by Sam Barlow profile

Slice of life
1999

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Number of Reviews: 18
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting and short, but kinda boring, November 29, 2015
I didn't feel very invested in the characters. The behavior and insanity of the protagonist doesn't help with this. I don't feel like I can really figure anything out because the narrator is unreliable, and I don't really feel like the personal experience of the narrator has any relevance to me because I'm not insane. But, most of all, I found the absence of challenges to be the biggest reason for not enjoying this very much.

I play games to have fun, and one of the biggest sources of fun for me is being engaged in solving problems and overcoming challenges. When you take that away from a game, you'd better have a really darn good case for me to want to play this game as opposed to the many, many other games out there that DO have that engagement. This game doesn't provide a good enough alternative to that.

After playing without a guide and figuring out enough of the story, I went through and tried all the commands in the walkthrough. There's certainly some fun in that, with how many different commands are implemented, but it's just not structured in a way that makes it interesting. The lack of a goal makes it particularly problematic.

This game reminds of Her Story. You have to piece together what is going on by watching short video clips. I think Her Story is basically a better version of this game because it actually has a goal and actually has a flow and pace to it. Stuff changes in the "meta" game as you discover important bits of information. Having, at the very least, a meta layer might've made Aisle more interesting for me.

All of that aside, it's quite short and you can play it in the space of an hour. This, alone, is it's most redeeming quality (and I don't mean that in the sense of "it's great it's short because it SUCKS"). It gives you a complete, fully-realized, unique experience all in the course of an hour.

I give this three stars because, despite my lack of engagement with it, it was short and unique. I would recommend this, because what do you really have to lose with a game this short?

Comments on this review

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Hanon Ondricek, November 29, 2015 - Reply
Now play "Pick Up the Phone Booth and Die" and then "Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle."
chairbender, November 30, 2015 - Reply
Thank you for the recommendation, I'm looking forward to giving those a try.
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