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Rameses

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Stephen Bond

GAME DEVELOPER:Freeware

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 2000, Stephen Bond

A brilliant, well-written IF that should be considered “interactive novel” more than a “game,” due to a total lack of puzzles. Not that this should bother anyone– Rameses is undoubtedly the best game about teenage angst I’ve ever played. Seriously. The game casts you as a frustrated teenager who is surrounded by people he can’t stand. The “game” opens with you, waking up to another day of self-pity and jealousy of your better-looking roommate. This isn’t just another typical day, though: this is the day you go out on a date, the first date of your life. Sure, you’re going wih a friend, and you don’t even know the girls you are meeting. But hey, that’s exciting enough….

The story progresses quite quickly, with a few unexpected twists. Although the ending (which I definitely don’t want to spoil) becomes predictable after a while, you will grow so sympathetic of your alter ego in the game that you’d realize what a great game Rameses truly is. Character interaction is one of the game’s best features: instead of the usual ASK ABOUT… and TALK ABOUT… commands of most IF games, here you can choose your character’s response from multiple choices, similar to Photopia. Your character, however, wont’ always say what you want him to say– and this is yet another way in which designer Stephen Bond cleverly communicates the boy’s personality and angst. Your character addresses you in the second person, so you will feel as if you’re his guardian angel, watching over the boy, trying to guide him along. There is perhaps no better illustration of how highly I think of this game than to give an example. In the middle of the game, I was watching my character’s roommate get cruelly harassed by a bad guy, but no matter what I typed, my character simply refused to take action. “What an asshole,” I thought.

As if anticipating my thoughts, my character said “you must think I’m an asshole, don’t you?”

That, IMHO, is what makes Rameses exceptional, a game worthy of a perfect score. If you like IF games for their storytelling power and not for clever puzzles, Rameses is simply a must-have. A spiritual descendant of Adam Cadre’s Photopia, and a damn good piece of IF.



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