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About the StoryAn interactive drama in the traditions of Soviet fiction about choosing a profession.
Mother and her teenage son live on the edge of the world amid hot springs, steam, mountains, five-story houses and rusty freight robots. Their present is routine. Their future is under the strict control of Progress-program. Which also means routine.
Making their choice they seem to be on the horns of a dilemma. But it may also be a rare chance to escape the dull grey surrounding them.
If they could only find a way to use it.
12th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
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Number of Reviews: 1
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Provodnik Games made their debut last year with Railways of Love, a sci-fi game set in a future Russia where you were locked into one path which later opened.
This game is somewhat similar. It is set in the same future (both feature 'spikeheads', robot transmitters). Both games are illustrated, the former in 8-bit pixel art, and this one in gorgeous, smoothly animated black and white art.
The writing is good, with some English hiccups here and there. A son in a lonely outpost needs to enter the real world by choosing a job. There are two job choices, and the choice gets made over and over.
Near the end, you finally break free, but it's tricky to find. The final screen, interestingly enough, shows a breakdown of what final choices people made. Only 15% of people made my choice, which was a partially hidden ending, but apparently there's an even better ending that 1% of people found.
I'm not afraid of choice-deficient games (I loved last year's very linear Polish the Glass), but I feel a bit odd giving this 5 stars when it's more of a computerized book. However, the constrained interactivity does serve a purpose, and reflects the constrained options of the protagonist. On the other hand, this kind of constraint-as-story as been done many times before. On the other hand, just because something isn't new doesn't mean it's bad. So I go back and forth between 4 stars and 5, which is why I've given it a score of 4.5. I'd love to see more from Provodnik!
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PollsThe following polls include votes for Dull Grey:
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Story of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Overall Games of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest games...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Use of Multimedia of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Use of Multimedia in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to...
This is version 3 of this page, edited by dgtziea on 5 July 2020 at 1:22am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item