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There is a fine line to walk while playing, whether it is worth following the rules and ruining lives or bending the rules at the risk of getting caught in order to help destitute people. The moral choices in the game are often difficult and require hard decisions. See More
Papers Please has a unique puzzle solving element. Instead of using mathematical logic, or quick matching thinking, the puzzles in Papers Please involve checking people's background information to make sure everything matches the immigration requirements and following clues to find anything amiss. See More
Every character feels like they have a history and realistic personal motivations, even when they're left unexplained. Mae's friends are all different yet interesting in their own ways, like Gregg who's always happy to see her and helps Mae feel like someone truly cares, and Bea with her biting sarcasm and apathy that seem to cover up her more complex issues. The residents of the town also talk about things in ways that are true-to-life, like how they gossip about their neighbors as you listen in, or just flat-out tell you sometimes to leave them alone. Every character in the game feels like a real person, whether they're central to the story or just one of the NPCs you see sitting on their porch all the time. See More
The coming-of-age story in Night in the Woods is unconventional for a video game, making it more unique and intriguing. After dropping out of college, the main character, Mae, struggles with her own disillusionment in life and refusal to grow up, all the while her old friends find success and move on without her. You join in on that struggle as you live as Mae: aimlessly going around town talking to everyone and listening to their worries, browsing your laptop when you're supposed to be doing other important things, and even pressing a button to wake up in bed every morning as a reminder of how mundane life can be. You see all the ways she doesn't necessarily want to grow up, wishing she could stay a kid forever, but then she talks to an old acquaintance who thinks she's washed up now, making her feel anxious about her failings as a young adult. This type of story is familiar for anyone who has also had a hard time with similar problems, and eye-opening for anyone who hasn't. See More
Running around the side-scrolling town as Mae day in and day out is more enjoyable than it sounds at first. It's mundane, but there's a lot of meaning to find around the town if you're willing to look for it. You go wherever you want, finding out stories about the townspeople and the town itself, or hanging out with friends for scripted story moments. Poking around all over town to find out the history is pretty cool, like the underground diner that Mae used to steal from back in the day, or the old shopping mall that barely gets any customers anymore. When you're not talking to people or going somewhere, you can play around with the rhythm mini-game as you practice with Mae's bass either in her room or in her old band with her group of friends. You can fall into a nice habit of checking in with the NPCs and locations you care about most, almost like in real life where you prioritize the people and places you spend the most time around. See More
Night in the Woods is set in Possum Springs, once a booming mine town but now a forgotten speck on the map, rife with poverty and decay. Its history is based on several real Adirondack towns, and its portrayal of rural decline is painfully accurate. The townspeople you talk to lament about having to close down their businesses, or wonder out loud how they'll make ends meet. Everyone's economic hardships feel real and relevant to anyone who's gone through the same thing or knows someone else who has. See More
In order to progress in the game, players have to make a variety of difficult decisions. For example, accepting a bribe may improve your relations with the Mafia but reduce your overall reputation with your fellow police officers. You can choose to play a good cop that plays by the rules, but it's not easy. You can issue tickets even for cars that are not breaking any laws, but those tickets count towards your daily ticket quota. Issuing them may have long-term consequences. In order to reach their daily goals, the player must make the choice they think will get them closer to it. Whether that is the moral choice or not is entirely up to the player themselves. The right choice will reward the player, the wrong choice however can greatly penalize and set them back. See More
Five minutes in-game are equivalent to a couple of real-world seconds. This makes time go awfully quickly in Beat Cop. The idea is that time needs to go quickly in order for the player to strategize and think hard about which choices they will make during a single day. This fact is further emphasized by NPCs repeating again and again that you will not be able to complete all of your tasks. The problem is that it's perfectly possible to complete all given tasks in even such a small timeframe. You have a daily minimum number of tickets you have to write, if you reach double of your daily quota the game will reward you for that. But because in-game time management is poor, it's quite easy to even quadruple your daily quota which seems to not have been predicted by the game creators since the game gives no rewards whatsoever for reaching more than double your ticket quota. See More
Even if it's set 30 years ago, Beat Cop manages to make a statement about issues relevant today. Problems like race, police brutality, and corruption are dealt with with a good dose of satire and introspection. It throws the player into a hostile environment and asks them to make important decisions under extremely high pressure and difficulty where doing something immoral is often seen as the simplest and fastest way of reaching your goals. The quota-based system is reminiscent of the statistics-based systems many countries employ to measure a cop's performance. This blurs the line between moral and immoral choices. Do you choose to take the high road? Or do you make an immoral choice in order to reach your goals faster? This way, Beat Cop shines a light on the many difficulties policemen have to address every day and the game does so while remaining impartial and without throwing needless accusations around. See More
Beat Cop successfully captures the general feel of '80s shows and movies about cops. It's got all the stereotypes people find and enjoy in those shows and movies. All the cliches make it seem like it's straight out of Miami Vice. See More
Contributor for 4 years
Night in the Woods
Recommended 3 months ago
I had a couple of people tell me Night in the Woods is pretty good, but no real details as to why. So here's why. Each character, even ones you have only a single short exchange with, feels substantive; like they have whole unique lives of their own, outside the plot. Characters wrestle with depression,...
ProGreat coming-of-age story
ProWell-written side characters
ProTragic, realistic setting and NPCs
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