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Photopia

by Adam Cadre profile

Slice of life
1998

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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 27
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Eh...I feel like I'm missing something., September 23, 2014
by akaisha0 (Omaha, Nebraska)
I feel like this game is entirely lost on me. I saw this on so many top lists and read so many fantastic reviews I had to give it a try and I admit my hopes were far higher than they should have been. This game was a colossal let down for me. I make it no secret that I prefer text adventures to "interactive fiction" but I felt this offered me neither. I appreciate that it tried (and succeeded) at doing something new with non-linear story telling with time and the wonderful use of color. But beyond that it was dull and uninteresting. This can't be called a game, a story, or even an experience. It just fails on all counts. Photopia is easily played in less than an hour and the hardest puzzle for me was trying to figure out how to exit the garage. This game is not interactive which would be fine if it told an interesting story, but it failed on that count too. In the beginning you're led through disjointed tales under the assumption they will likely culminate into a larger scheme. The problem is..they really don't. You can infer a reasonable bit by the end of how it all pieces together but it leaves entirely too much to the imagination and gave me absolutely no reason to care. I didn't care for any of the characters or situations, I kept playing out of the assumption this was going somewhere and it didn't. This story was beyond a let down. It has so many wonderful reviews and I can't tell if I'm just not pretentious enough to see it for what it is or if I just saw through it for what it was: a dull, lifeless, uninteresting, "story". It wasn't a game, it was hardly a story. I think you should play it to judge for yourself. I think it stands as an important piece of interactive fiction history and certainly influenced games that would come after it but..even as a catalyst for a brighter future of IF games, I can't praise it.

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bignose, November 4, 2015 - Reply
Agreed. I played Photopia tonight and kept expecting the epiphany referred to in so many rave reviews but for me it never came, and then the tale was abruptly stopped.

There were several points which could count as the moment of revelation, but I don't see anything in them that could affect a reader as many reviewers seem to report.

For me this was quite a let-down. Like akaisha0 says, I feel the whole thing is somehow lost on me, as though most people who played this got something quite different from what I experienced.
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