Echo Bazaar: Like a Dream

I’ve discovered a little game called Echo Bazaar. It’s kind of a giant choose-your-own-adventure mixed with a collect-a-thon. It’s hard to describe… it feeds you little bite-size bits of story and gives you several characteristics and knickknacks. Before you know it the backwards world of Fallen London pulls you in.

Myself, I’m kind of fashioning myself as a detective, with high “Watchful” and “Persuasive” qualities. I’m in searching for a card game in which I can stake my soul and win my heart’s desire. I’m learning the secret language of tattoos and growing acquainted with spies. I have strong connections with the church and the lawmen of the city. The game says I am magnanimous and subtle. I’m doing favors for a mysterious benefactor, and hoping to take some classes at the university. I recently moved into a spare room above a gambling den, paid for in whispered secrets.

The funny thing is, this is a lot like what everyone else is doing, but the stories I focus on (and the order in which I tackle them) makes it feel like a very personal experience. I’m also enamored with the nonlinear progression aspect of the game. Everything you do affects your qualities. One quality isn’t necessarily better than another – they just open up different opportunities.

The whole system is allowing the developers to explore storytelling in games in a unique way, through the lens of their storylets. They’ve posted some great stuff on their blog about the narrative structures they’re utilizing.

If anybody’s up for it, I could use some neighbors. Follow me on Twitter: Islemaster

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