Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Girl with a Heart of

Girl with a Heart of is a new action adventure by the new indie developer Bent Spoon Games. Its most redeeming feature is the wide use of choice in its narrative. Unfortunately, the most obvious feature of the entire game is the unpolished nature of it. From the very start, with the games logo, it is obvious that both the game has very little polish, outside of the dialogue, and that this is probably a new developer with little experience.

The graphics are interesting, and I rather like them. But like the rest of the game there are a few rough edges. It is a rather unique and even psychedelic style, not that that matches the gameplay. They are 2D and in particular I liked the player portraits but in general the abstract nature of a bunch of it was rather nice.

But the list of problems is quite long. The text is horrible looking, the game is quite short, and while there is a RPG and combat system there is almost no combat whatsoever.

But all of that does not have to ruin a game with redeeming features. And far more then any other game this game's narrative feels like real narrative, not at all unpolished. You seem to be constantly barraged with natural choices that effect the game world. These choices are given in both a obvious fashion (e.g. answering "Yes" or "No" to a question) and non obvious fashions (e.g. simply telling someone about a particular part of your day). It feels like you are having a real non scripted conversation with someone when you have to remember there history and make sure never to tell them something without weighing the consequences. This makes one common way of playing, that I use a lot, absolutely obsolete. You cannot just exhaust your dialogue tree as many options in it are choice making to use and absolutely do not give you any warning. It also makes it very replayable.

So I would recommend this game but I would not recommend that someone actually buy it. There is a minimum amount of polish in all areas of the game that you should expect when playing a commercial title and that is simply lacking here. But maybe I am being to old-fashioned, if you intrigued by experimentations in narrative and want a game that focuises on that to the exclusion of all other aspects then this might be just the game for you.

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