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I.A.G. Alpha

by Serhii Mozhaiskyi

Science Fiction
2018

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Number of Reviews: 2
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Brilliant meta game, November 23, 2018
I.A.G. Alpha was my favorite game from IFComp 2018, and I played all of them. An English translation of a work originally written in Russian, I.A.G. Alpha appears to be an unfinished game about a guy working at a post-Soviet research institute. Its opening text consists of a note from the author explaining that he never finished writing the game but decided to release what he had written anyway. On the second screen there are comments like "TODO: finish the scene on the roof" and "TODO: comment out the debugger." And, sure enough, there's a DEBUGGER command in the upper right corner that lets you peek into parts of the game's source code. After a few scenes the author stops the action once again, this time to say that he thinks the introductory text is too long, to detail what his original plan for the game was, and then to explain more about why he never finished it.

You play a little further, and you eventually come to realize that the "unfinished" aspect of the game you are purportedly playing is entirely intentional - in fact, it's a setup for the real game to pull what I think is the most genius meta move I've ever seen. I really don't want to spoil it by giving it away, but it's so simple and yet so fundamental. And that's what makes it work so well.

An absolutely brilliant game.