Jan 8, 2014

Worth Checking Out - Continue?9876543210

Over the weekend I noticed the peculiar title Continue?9876543210 hit the front page of Steam, and while I had heard little to nothing about the title I decide to give it a purchase and see what it was all about. Upon my initial reaction, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the game's seemingly complex narrative and gameplay decisions. The game wasn't overwhelmingly difficult or overbearing in complexity, instead I was initially jaded by my experience of games similar in style.

There has been a recent trend of indie games that push an emphasis on pseudo-intellectualism, deceiving players into believing there's a layer of thought not initially seen on the surface, and while I was initially put off by Continue?9876543210's method of story telling I was quickly taken aback by how interesting of an experience it truly provided.  

Telling the story of a dead video game character, Continue?9876543210 begins as fourth-wall breaking experience and ends up reflecting back on the players own outlook on life. It's an experience I wasn't necessarily wanting or expecting, but by the end of my playthrough I felt an interesting sense of self-reflection that few games have provided me with. 

Of course, many would argue a game isn't truly a game without some form of gameplay and I'll be first to admit that Continue?9876543210 was a tad lacking in this department. The game is split into multiple stages, in each stage you are given a different amount of days to escape before your character faces complete deletion. During each day you are given the opportunity to complete different tasks for NPCs which will evoke a 'prayer' and open a path to the stage's exit. 

While I've only gotten to run through the game once, each stage provides multiple paths to escape the stage provided a different experience each time. The game mixes an interesting flavor of time management and puzzle solving to progress through it's narrative, but I found myself often times choosing the shortest path in order to continue forward (perhaps that says something about the game's design decisions). Developer Jason Oda has provided a truly moving title that questions the value of life, something that I felt we can all focus a little more on. If you're interested in Continue?9876543210 you can pick it up now on Steam for $9.99. 

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