of the non-apocalypse variety
At IndieCade ’17 we checked out Four Horsemen a narrative game that explores the lives of 4 immigrant teens in a new country. The game is topical with respect to many events in the world right now, but there are a few ways it stands out and tries to step outside contemporary politics. First, you get to select the fictional country your characters come from. Doing that determines the fictional analogue you end up in. Although some countries might seem like obvious real world variants, others were less obvious to me, and I engaged in an experience that I actually was not familiar with. The stories change with each location as well, which gives way to multiple play throughs. The game feels less like an immigrant experience and more like a game that happens to have characters in that situation. Most of the people I know are at least a generation removed from that experience, and it made playing this game more approachable.
Four Horsemen also incorporates some gathering and crafting mechanics. I don’t find this often in narrative games. In talking with Kevin Chen, the game’s designer, he mentioned it was added to expand on the gameplay. He is also an RPG fan and added that to make this game more than an interactive narrative, something I found made this game more fun to play. The art is fun and bright too. It’s definitely worth putting on your list of games to play.