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Dull Grey

by Provodnik Games

Coming-of-age/Science Fiction/Everyday life
2019

(based on 11 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

An 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.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Current Version: Unknown
IFID: Unknown
TUID: qcso5wmplsnxlp2v

Awards

12th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)

Editorial Reviews

The Gaming Philosopher

A deep and touching work; one of my three favourites in the competition.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(5)
4 star:
(2)
3 star:
(3)
2 star:
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1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A beautifully illustrated and orchestrated game with only one choice-or is it?, October 3, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
I think I would give this 4.5 stars, but I am rounding up.

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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Polls

The following polls include votes for Dull Grey:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Innovation of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Innovation 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 Setting of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Setting 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...

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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Victor Gijsbers on 25 June 2020 at 4:05am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item