Ever played a game that didn’t really have any visuals? No particle effects, sprites or models? To some, this may be more considered an ‘interactive novel’ to others it is just as good as any other game. So what makes them interesting or enjoyable?
Consequences of Choice
A lot of ‘interactive novel’ games I played generally tend to emphasize the consequences of your choices. Some even as early as your first and second choices. If you played as close as to what you would do in the protagonist’s shoes, it shows an interesting possibility of what may happen in that particular scenario and world.
However, many other games have consequences of choice as well. Whether they are the type of game to drive the story or not, it is a crucial mechanic that video games had held over many other mediums. The interactive novels tend to be more complex as it is generally a very story-driven game. Be careful of the decisions you make, it could come back to haunt you later.
Simple and Straight to the Point
These interactive novels shouldn’t take more than an hour per playthrough. If you are curious enough to see where your other choices go, the replayability is made easy as it doesn’t take hours to get through one playthrough. This is especially important as you generally don’t want to save and stop as it takes away the momentum of the game.
Since there isn’t any real challenge or competition, it doesn’t require you to ‘theorycraft’ or any of the sort, allowing you to spend your attention on enjoying it.
All to one’s imagination
If you have played Dungeons & Dragons or other similar roleplaying games, you’d quickly realise that the visualisation of what happens is largely left to your own mind. Instead of having 3d graphics or 2d sprites showing us what Character A or Monster B looks like, you are left to figure out what they look like on your own.
However, it does come with a downside in that the whole enjoyment is almost entirely dependent on the writer’s style. If you can’t gel into it because the style doesn’t fit with you, you may find yourself finding it tedious, boring or completely droll.
Here are some of the ‘games’ I’d highly recommend. First up is Choice of Robots. This game revolves in a world where you as a protagonist had created a robot and several parties started being interested in your capabilities. Will you sell yourself to the military or corporate bodies? Or will you adhere to the belief that you can use robotics to improve lives?
Another great one I encourage you to take a look at is Neighbourhood Necromancer where the premise is a little more comedy-driven and something to have a laugh over. You play as a Necromancer and you have the potential to find quirky undead companions surrounding you.
Are there any ‘story games’ you’ve seen and enjoyed? Would you be willing to pick one up to try it out?