I played it yesterday, pretty sure it took less than an hour. Strong, hopeful political message, as has been said.
Liked the focus on environmental storytelling. It kind of reminded me of Blendo’s games(Gravity Bone/Thirty Flight of Loving). Not so much the cinematic shorthand those used, but the blocky graphics definitely make me think of those, and also the wordless nature of all the interactions and the use of specific set piece-y scenes.
This did sometimes require a bit more interpretation about what was going on though. A bit of wandering, some confusion with, for example, what the graffiti people were doing, when to brew potions, the employment agency not being a church as I first thought… I did definitely also get stuck on the bonfire bit like others did too.
The tarot cards were a bit weird, in that they weren’t really telling fortunes at all; they’re pointed arguments on cards, and because of the fuzzy nature of some of the early encounters I didn’t see for a while how some of the early readings actually applied to the people I was giving them to (I didn’t recognize what those people represented: workers, or the unemployed). It took until maybe the prison one that I realized these were maybe arguing against specific facets of capitalism that those people were suffering under. Audio-wise, found the guitar strums for a lot of actions a bit out of place for either the surveillance state dystopia setting or in a magic witch vibe. The actual arguments were thoughtful, especially the one about unpaid types of labor, and made me want to read some Sylvia Federici whose writing this game was based on.
My sometimes fumbling, sometimes a bit confused experience playing it did seem at odds with what the game and story seemed to want to be and was, which was completely assertive and decisive. There was a plan, and I wasn’t always in lockstep with it. But I liked exploring the city and seeing how it changed, and there was some cool uses of mechanics in there.
POST/CAPITALISM was another game from this dev I played before, and I think that one sort of gave a clearer illustration of structural change, but that was also more about underpinning issues and hidden consequences, and this one’s more about praxis and what we can do on a more street level. This also presents the concepts in maybe a more actionable and approachable way, so it might be more effective overall.