Hey Time Wasters!
How many of you have ever played a text adventure game? I’ve only played one once a really long time ago, but decided to give it a go again this week when I found one that wouldn’t take me days to complete (after all, I’m just finding things to do in my spare time). This led me to the game called A Small Talk at the Back of Beyond.
As I said, A Small Talk at the Back of Beyond is a text adventure game, which means you’re going to have to type out questions and commands in order to progress through it. It’s not hard (which is good for someone like me who had to get back into the swing of things) so I’m sure any of you guys can play it. Yes some of the questions and commands don’t compute that you think would, but that happens in these types of games all the time. Still, even if your sentences aren’t recognized, you’re not taken out of the story’s atmosphere, which of course is vital for a game that’s only text and story.
But what is the story of this small talk game? Well, you awaken from some sort of hibernation pod, alone in a dark room. The only things you see is what you can make out in the room with your flashlight; the most important being a console where someone is now trying to talk to you. You respond to find out that you’re talking to an AI who tells you where you are, what happened, and why you are where you are (also that you must be suffering from memory loss due to being in hibernation, the perfect reason for why you don’t know anything about the game’s setting, right?). But something doesn’t sit right with you, and so you must start investigating whether what you’ve been told is true or not.
As I progressed through the game I found myself getting more involved than I expected to. Yes you have to be involved in order to play the game correctly, pick up on clues and do all that stuff, but I’m referring more to the atmosphere and characters. True the only other character besides you is the computer your talking to, but I grew fond of him, even if he was only working at around 30% capacity. The game’s graphics and music really helped a lot with the game emersion too. The graphics were nice and easily read, letting you know exactly what you needed to. The music was pretty much perfect: an ominous tune that made you feel uneasy (which you should feel based on this story), and also pleasing in the sense that you were fine hearing it run continuously in the background.
I’m not going to spoil the end for you, but I will say that it took me by surprise and that there is a choice to be made. Honestly, I was surprised by my choice more than anything else, and it was thanks to how engaging the game was even though it didn’t last long (which is the only disappointing thing as I found myself wanting more).
So, for actually involving me enough to where my choice actually felt heavy, A Small Talk at the Back of Beyond earns 4.5 GiN Gems out of 5!