Indie Game Review: Stranger Than Fictionspace, puzzle, game, mystery,

You can imagine how flabbergasted Moon Logic Enterprises were to find a massive tower on a supposedly uninhabited plant. Naturally, they hurried to investigate. What they found shocked them more. On the planet were stone tablets that appear to have belonged to some long lost civilization. Excavations are still going on now to determine precisely what is happening on the planet. But for now, it’s up to you, as Professor of Xenolinguistics, to translate the text on those tablets.

If you can work those tablets out we’ll have a chance at uncovering the truth about the planet and the civilization that once inhabited it.

. .  .That was my narrative introduction to Stuart Madafiglio’s new game, Stranger than Fiction. It’s a puzzle game where you have to solve cryptic puzzles to learn about an alien mythology. To succeed, you’ll need to reconstruct the alien language’s alphabet.

The puzzles, to be honest, are somewhat too easy. From a gameplay perspective, Stranger than Fiction really would have benefited from gradually increasing the difficulty. As it is, you won’t be taxed at all and so instead will find yourself more interested in the story than the gameplay.

Thankfully, the story is a decent one; actually, it’s really good. It’s got a terrific sense of pacing and it fits perfectly with the gameplay. As you solve a puzzle you discover an extra little bit of the story. This motivates you to keep going so you can gradually piece together the whole mystery.

It’s not perfect, but Stranger Than Fiction is a unique game that feels unlike anything else, and with the great story development there’s plenty of reason to give it a playthrough.

Check out the developer’s website for more.

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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