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    Elegy For The Dead world: Review

    If you thought BioWare games gave you the power to write your own story through their adventures, then Elegy For The Dead puts it to shame. Planting you on a series of abandoned worlds, you have to rite your thoughts on the desolation, flexing the kind of story-telling muscles that some modern games boil down to binary choices. No, this is more than just a choose-your-own-adventure game. It’s a full-on story-writing tutorial.

    And yet it lacks the trappings and solid foundations of such an experience. It lacks much of what would make it a good game. The Elegy For A Dead world has little in the way of interactive elements or traditional gaming challenges. You move from left to right, hovering with a jetpack from time to time to speed up your progress, but there are no dangers to avoid or obstacles to overcome. There are huts and buildings you can enter, but nothing to interact with. All you have are writing prompts for you to spin your yarns.

    Yet that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. With a selection of writing prompts for each planet, filling in the blanks of these stories and building your own interpretation of the beautifully-realised 2D worlds you explore can be a lot of fun. The art style is wonderful and music very engaging. It sets a melancholy tone to the whole experience that can easily infect your writing and has lead to some rather dark and reflective work from other players, some of which you can read for yourself.

    What’s more, it has some intelligent additional modes like a free-writing setting that lets you type away your own story without the prompts of the developer and a series of grammar tests that asks you to correct the work you read, adding in proper punctuation and switching out incorrect words. It’s just a shame we couldn’t find any official scoring on how well we had done with those.

    Which perhaps gets back to the key issue, that Elegy For A Dead World lacks the traditional trappings of a game and therefore fails to give you the depth of motivation or content to keep you coming back. With only three planets to explore and between 13 to 15 segments to write in per planet, there’s not a mass to do with this game. Reading and recommending other people’s work has its merit, but since everyone is working from the same outlines, there’s little variation.

    If you love the look of this setting and enjoy writing to prepared concepts it certainly has its benefits, but there’s just not much of a game here.


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