Video games have come a long way throughout my lifetime. I can remember waking up early on Saturday mornings to play Dragonfire on my dad’s Tandy TRS-80 (and you thought you were old-school with your PS1, poser)! The industy has certainly gone through many changes since then. The gaming industry now represents the largest entertainment group to have ever existed. Developers are focusing more on story and presentation then many full-length feature films. Yeah, yeah, yeah, get on with it. I hear you.
31BR is a “short visual novel where you’re a man who’s trying to sell a museum one of his pieces.” And by short, it’s well under 5 minutes. There are four possible outcomes, and I’m not going to lie… They are all a little disappointing. STOP! Come back, don’t lose faith; I really do like this game. It reminds me very much of the old text adventure games – not so much from the Tandy, but more-so from the Macintosh SE days – that are entirely text, where you would get to choose whether you wanted to travel n, s, w, or e for the entire game. This game brings back a familiar nostalgia to a much simpler time, when games weren’t pumped up bigger than José Conseco.
Thankfully, this game does include pictures and a GUI interface where simple text based choices can be made. There is also a great deal of fun to be had choosing character’s names.
OK, so maybe you’re not impressed. Maybe you don’t even like the simplicity and the briefness of the game. Some of you might even be saying, “George Force, I don’t know what a text adventure game is, by the way, who are you and what are you doing on Bytejacker?” Those are all fine. You have to admit, this title is impressive for being genericuser’s first attempt at making a visual novel, and doing it in a couple of hours none-the-less.
Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t. The bottom line is that for something that is going to take less than five minutes to play through, it’s worth checking out. The bonus is that it’s available in Windows, Mac, and Linux, and at least for the Windows version (haven’t tested Mac or Linux), there is nothing to install. You can download it here (Windows, Mac, Linux).