So, late last night I was prowling columns of interesting writers, and stumbled upon a review for an indie game I hadn’t heard of in the months since its release. The game was Digital: A Love Story, and the concept alone (never mind the praise by Emily Short, the columnist I was reading) was enough to make want to give it a go.
So I did, and then my morning vanished. While I had originally wanted to avoid writing ‘reviews’ here on RRQ, so many good indie games that have cropped up recently that I am unable to review for other sites have made me decide to start doing some individual game coverage here at RRQ – but only for off-beat, unique games that you might otherwise miss if you stick to mainstream sites for your gaming news & reviews.
(Note: There are no spoilers in this review)
Digital: A Love Story has a concept that, in some ways, might seem familiar if you’ve played games like Uplink or the forgettable Hacker games by Activision, at least on the surface. But there’s a major difference – while Digital may involve hacking, that’s just a pretense to tell quite an immersive, fascinating story about… well, a relationship, I suppose. Where Uplink is really just a strategy game, Digital is a story that happens to be in game form – and it’s infinitely more immersive and engrossing in this medium than it would be as a novel or a film.
The game is a sort of sci-fi / hacking story set ‘five minutes in the future’ of 1988. You load the game and promptly find yourself confronted with “Amie Workbench”, which looks suspiciously like the old Amiga Workbench – complete with many of the same quirks. Having been given this shiny, brand-new computer, you are encouraged by the good Mr Wong to dial this fascinating new service called a Bulletin Board System.