Capsule Review: Into

A few-minutes-long experiment in storytelling techniques. The creator calls it not a game but an “interactive” and even that is pushing it a little. The story won’t advance until you click on hotspots but there’s no real choice and everything is firmly on rails.

The goal seems to have been to evoke particular emotional states as you progress through a few scenes of what looks like a budding romance. It succeeds to varying degrees - in one scene, the relaxed and free-flowing nature of the characters' conversation is expressed well when the player must hover over amorphous thought bubbles to draw them into focus and talk about them, but moments later the player is required to build a question by clicking on every single word in turn, which feels laboriously deliberate instead.

Part of the game’s point is that we assume things about people from surface features but it’s difficult to really know someone - but without providing enough context for the player to feel they know the characters, there isn’t much in the way of a broader context on which to hang the emotional vignettes. As such the scenes will really only work on people who’ve had the right experiences to fill in the blanks with their own nostalgia and memories.

There’s some potential here, but as it is this piece is mainly interesting from an academic perspective.

I Stopped Playing When: I finished the story.

Docprof's Rating:

One Star: Not for me. While there might be someone out there who'd enjoy this game, I was actively repulsed by it or just found nothing to latch on to.

You can get it or learn more here.