Capsule Review: Impostor Factory

An interactive story that expands the lore of its predecessors but doesn't quite tell its own worthwhile tale.

A followup to To the Moon and Finding Paradise that is again an interactive story wrapped in the style and presentation of a SNES RPG, but which has a different narrative structure and focus this time. Instead of a frame story that has you playing as the recurring technicians investigating and rewriting the memories of a dying client to grant their life’s wish, you play as a different character in a different situation.

The gameplay is still mostly about exploring the story rather than steering it or overcoming challenges. This time the frustrating and out-of-place puzzle elements and action sequences are thankfully gone, though there is a single point-and-click-adventure-style inventory puzzle. Unfortunately, much of the game doesn’t even really feature exploration and is essentially a movie - and the parts that do feature enough exploration and interactivity to feel more like a world you can inhabit are disconnected from the parts of the plot that actually matter and mostly just set up expectations that go completely unfulfilled.

The story does still involve learning about someone’s life, choices, and regrets while solving some mysteries, but the result is less coherent than before. The focus of the story and mysteries aren’t directly about the life story, but instead expand on elements teased in the frame stories of To the Moon and Finding Paradise. So despite being roughly the same size as those previous mainline titles (rather than the smaller “minisodes” or the interquel A Bird Story), Impostor Factory feels like a side story rather than another main installment: one which is obliged to exist to fill out lore details rather than to tell a story that stands firmly on its own merits.

I wouldn’t recommend playing Impostor Factory without first playing To the Moon and Finding Paradise as it’s not a similar mostly-standalone episodic story. It’s worth the time to play if you’re invested in the series, but the only people I’d expect to really enjoy it are the ones who want answers to the questions teased on the edges of the previous games.

I Stopped Playing When: I finished the game.

Docprof's Rating:

Two Stars: Meh. The game has some merit - it probably held my attention for at least an hour or I came back to it for more than one play session. But there wasn't enough draw for me to stick with it for the long haul.

You can get it or learn more here.