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Photopia

by Adam Cadre profile

Slice of life
1998

Web Site

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(209)
4 star:
(126)
3 star:
(46)
2 star:
(15)
1 star:
(2)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 398
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- Rollersnake (Rogers, AR), May 1, 2016

- Denk, April 17, 2016

- Bram, March 28, 2016

- Mergath, February 25, 2016

- E. W. B., February 23, 2016

- sadcarnival (Australia), February 19, 2016

A variety of genres rolled into a cohesive story. An influential IF game., February 3, 2016

Photopia is often cited as the best interactive fiction of all time. It has won numerous awards, inspired a shift to story-centered Interactive Fiction, and so on.

It really is a great game. Despite all the hype, sitting down and playing through it is fun. The meta-puzzle of trying to understand what's going on keeps you going through different scenes. The different scenes give you the impression that you're playing a hard puzzle game while actually simplifying things without you knowing.

The colors are a good part of the game; if your interpreter doesn't support or if you are unable to distinguish between colors, you should use your imagination.

Is this really the best IF of all time? I honestly would have to say that nothing is really better than it. I don't replay it because it makes me sad. I like to stick to puzzle games or big crazy worlds. But this game has substance and meaning.

- IFforClassroom (East Asia), January 29, 2016

- wojnarabc, January 13, 2016

- namekuseijin (anywhere but home), January 12, 2016

- KennaM (Southern California), January 8, 2016

- Oreolek (Kemerovo, Russia), January 8, 2016

Short, unique, and relatively on-rails, December 17, 2015

Likes:
-Not frustrating. The lack of challenging puzzles and presence of an adequate parser and adequate descriptions made it so I didn't encounter any frustrating moments.

-Non-linear storytelling makes things a bit more interesting than if this story were told in a linear fashion as you learn more about the story and piece it together yourself. This approach is not without its problems, though (see dislikes).

-Short. Even if you don't find this to be the most amazing thing ever, it's so short that you probably won't really feel worse off for having played it.

-Use of images and color. It's not particularly flashy, but it's a nice break from typically monochrome IF.

Dislikes:
-Not particularly exciting or touching. The story is quite short, so I don't really have time to develop an attachment to the characters. I don't blame the game for a lack of characterization, I just feel like I need more time with the characters in order to care more about them. Maybe it's my fault for not letting myself get drawn in, but I suspect the non-linear nature of the story also made it a little harder to get drawn in to caring about it. I sure did care about that wolf, though (I have that not uncommon habit of caring more about animals than actual people).

-Not particularly challenging. There aren't really puzzles in this game. I like the sense of accomplishment I get from solving puzzles, so in that regard this game isn't as fun as other games that do have puzzles. I don't think puzzles really fit with the theme of the game, but I can't help myself having a desire to overcome challenges.

-On rails. I didn't get a sense that the presence of a parser and text-based interaction really enhanced the story.

Conclusion
Overall, I recommend giving this game a play due to how short it is. Other than that, I don't think it's as exciting or remarkable an experience as I've gotten from other games. I've come to expect a high level of stimulation and engagement from playing too many video games, though.

- Aryore, December 13, 2015

- Ashen_, December 12, 2015

- tearingdownthewall, December 3, 2015

- deskoft, December 1, 2015

- paulmr, November 11, 2015

- bignose (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), November 7, 2015

- Catalina, November 4, 2015

- KingofSushi, October 12, 2015

- nonnamethankyou, September 29, 2015

- brian.j.sanders, September 29, 2015

- Harry Coburn (Atlanta, GA), August 14, 2015

- Sophie Grimaud (France), August 2, 2015


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