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Photopia

by Adam Cadre profile

Slice of life
1998

Web Site

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(222)
4 star:
(139)
3 star:
(48)
2 star:
(17)
1 star:
(2)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 428
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- xochie, September 17, 2017

- enkaye (usa), August 31, 2017

- ja, bo ja, August 28, 2017

- karlnp (Vancouver, BC), August 22, 2017

- Wanderlust, August 3, 2017

- Ivanr, August 1, 2017

- doodlelogic, July 27, 2017

- gilhova, July 18, 2017

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Thoroughly disappointing, July 11, 2017
At the beginning of the game, there is a sense of intrigue: shifting perspectives are used to spiral around a single character, building up hype for a grand conclusion. The story's direction and pacing is held on a tighter leash than in your average IF game. At first, this was exciting. However, it soon became clear that the plot was headed nowhere.

While the story was outright bad, the storytelling just failed to live up to its potential. Exploration was frustrating. Although the puzzles are easy, when I couldn't figure out what to do, it became maddening very quickly due to the bleak, dull and unresponsive environments. However, these worlds were still the most interesting part of the game.

The game can be ultimately seen as a character study. The main character is a pretty, creative, nice, mysterious, hardworking, middle-class girl with a nice family who is loved by everyone around her, and faces no meaningful challenges. She is also not only smart, but a genius. I hated this character. I could not believe in her struggle. Throughout every scene with her I inwardly pleaded the writer to give her some dialogue or trait that I could actually connect with, but this never happened -- almost everyone else in the story existed to further highlight how wonderful she is. Parts of her life read like a bad teen movie. Since the whole game revolves around such a nondescript, almost mythical figure, I couldn't bring myself to like the game.

Nonetheless, I would have appreciated it in hindsight if it went somewhere thematically. But sadly, (Spoiler - click to show)I predicted the story's ending very near to the start -- which made everything tedious. I resented the lazy attempts at emotion, I resented the (Spoiler - click to show)fact that Ally died in a car crash of all things -- the most cliche and unimaginative sort of death, and not even the most likely, as if good people can only die in random car crashes -- and I resented the characterization of Rob as a textbook villain, as this took the away any philosophical meaning that could have been gleaned from the event. The (Spoiler - click to show)lack of an ending was the final nail in the coffin for me.

To be fair, this game is technically fine. I would have dismissed it as "decent" had I played it at the time of its release, with lowered expectations. But playing it today, I oscillated between feeling bored and irritated, curious and let down. You might like it if you are an absolute beginner to the medium, or if you are easily moved by sob stories, but otherwise, don't get your hopes up.

- Targor (Germany), June 4, 2017

- ly2000, June 3, 2017

- Cory Roush (Ohio), June 3, 2017

- Kyriakos Sgarbas (Hellas (Greece)), May 25, 2017

Brass Lantern

[...] the overall layout of the story appears to be a complex weave, where you travel along the thread as it makes its way in one direction, turns around and comes back, crossing the previous parts of the weave and then continues. [...] In summary, this game is like an interactive story nestled inside another. A russian doll. A woven russian doll at that.

You wrote this review - Revise it | Add a comment

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

The colors, like everything else in Photopia, worked beautifully, adding artfully to the overall impact of the story. The work is interactive in other important ways as well. In fact, in many aspects Photopia is a metanarrative about the medium of interactive fiction itself. Again, it wasn't until the end of the story that I understood why it had to be told as interactive fiction. And again, to explain the reason would be too much of a spoiler. I have so much more I want to talk about with Photopia, but I can't talk about it until you've played it. Go and play it, and then we'll talk. I promise, you'll understand why everyone has been so impatient. You'll understand why I loved it, and why I think it's one of the best pieces of interactive fiction ever to be submitted to the competition.

You wrote this review - Revise it | Add a comment

- Doug Orleans (Somerville, MA, USA), April 3, 2017

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful, March 18, 2017
by RottenSnail
Related reviews: beginner, short, easy, narrative
Photopia is a beautiful game and is relatively short, so I would recommend it to anyone who has a few minutes here and there, whether they're beginners or not. The imagery is wonderful and good use was made of the colored text. I was hooked from the very first scene. The game has a mystery aspect to it because the story will completely shift once in a while and the player is left wondering how the scenes relate to one another.

This game is more fiction than interaction, but that did nothing to hinder my enjoyment of it. The player input is often in the form of multiple choice, and I don't think there's ever really a wrong option. I assume the game would progress the same way no matter what choices the player makes, but I would play along with it for maximum enjoyment.

- pox, March 18, 2017

- Pegbiter (Malmö, Sweden), February 14, 2017

- ikdc, February 11, 2017

- RoboDragonn, January 31, 2017

- TheAncientOne, January 28, 2017

- John of Thornwick, January 11, 2017

- imelda, December 29, 2016

- piffling-paka (State College, Pennsylvania), December 6, 2016


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