Gaming

Overboard! Revision (Change eShop) | Nintendo Vita

Veronica Villensey has many things: a former actress, a wife for a rich husband, and now, her biggest role of all: a murderer.

But, to be fair, the bastard deserved it. When Veronica throws her beloved husband Malcolm onto the side of the cruise ship, she sets in motion events she could neither predict nor evade – unless, of course, she was able to relive them a second time. And a third. And a fourth, and a fifth …

Overboard! is the latest game from the Inkle-focused narrative studio – creators of Back to heaven, 80 Days, and Witchcraft!, which are fantastic – but this is different. It was done in a few months, with the team starting production in early 2021 and coming out in early June. And you can’t even tell. Inkle has their own way of doing things perfectly, and they’ve even created their own word engine, Inky, to do it, making them masters of a craft they’ve recently invented.

The premise is simple, but the practicalities are not. You killed your husband, and now you have to cover it – either as an accident or a homicide that someone has committed, if you want to get life insurance payment. Rather than a “whodunnit,” it’s definitely a “youdunnit,” and rather than discovering clues and revealing lies, you’re the one who plants clues and intertwines the lies in the first place.

The trick is not to exaggerate, Veronica. You look suspicious. Instead, it’s about subtlety: putting testimonials of your husband in someone else’s room without being clever, or cunning, random indicating the motive of someone else.

For the first few turns you want to royally fuck everything. Veronica is stuck in a cycle until she understands it well, like 80 Days, so maybe you should push someone other off the boat in a moment of panic, forgetting that the captain can see you from the deck; perhaps you will be overly enthusiastic about planting tests and someone else will take you to maneuver.

But joy in Overboard! it’s actually all about cocking up, as Veronica repeatedly tries to distract people with the same “Look! A dolphin! No, lean a little farther and you’ll see him …” line that she worked on her husband. Similarly, the failed star has also tried to flirt, blackmail, and play innocently to get what she wants, but over and over again she will be exploited by some small detail she doesn’t know. Ah well. It’s always the next time.

All of Veronica’s machinations are even more complicated by a clock still in progress. You only have eight hours before the ship lands ashore; if you spend five minutes repairing your hair, you may miss a vital deadline elsewhere on the boat. There’s also a clever and complicated “closed” time mechanic to make sure passengers always move from room to room at the same time as Veronica, so things change every time you play – but we don’t pretend to understand exactly how it works.

At the end of each game, everyone will gather in the dining room, in Poirot style, where passengers who haven’t been murdered inexperienced discuss what they saw … or he thought they have seen. Depending on your actions, things will be revealed, the reasons will be discussed, the blackmail will be blacked out, and the group will come to a decision, which most often is an inconvenience for Veronica.

What you’ve learned in that playthrough, though, may inform you next time – maybe you know exactly where to look for that incriminating photo, or maybe you know that someone’s pressure points are a little better. However, Veronica herself does not retain that knowledge, so you will need to guide her to find out as well. Fortunately, you can move quickly through the dialogue and choices you made earlier.

It would be left to us not to mention other small class details that Inkle has added to the whole affair to give them a certain aesthetic. The soundtrack is entirely recorded on the wax cylinder, using some of Thomas Edison’s own recordings to render the game feel crackly in the early 20th century. There’s a completely playable Pontoon minigame that puts you in a rage against a man with secrets, using stolen money. Every day, you will get new goals, which will stimulate you to try new things, like you actually achieve something. confess to the crime.

Oh, and if you stop, your “suggestion” is literally God. And I’m not particularly impressed with you, by the way.

Because of the complexity of the Inkle web intricate in a few months, there are occasionally loose points – characters mentioning things that haven’t happened, or knowing things that shouldn’t – but it’s honestly remarkable that the game works. at all. These minor issues don’t break the story, and the story is still this beautiful, complex, reactive one that, for the most part, seems organic and real, with the characters orbiting each other being mischievous and secretive. It’s a masterpiece of intelligent and efficient narrative weaving that must have been an absolute nightmare to build, but it’s beautiful nonetheless.

If you have never seen it The Talent Mr. Ripley o Murder on the Orient Express, and thought to himself, “Pah! I could have escaped”, then this is your chance. Inkle achieved something brilliantly bloody in an impressively short amount of time. The question is: can you do the same?

Conclusion

Where 80 Days was about the broad implications of traveling around the globe, Overboard! it focuses instead on the minutiae of a single day, and the intricacies of the interaction. It’s a glorious study of how to create a delicate Rube Goldberg machine of dialogue and addictions, as a cast of especially terrible people wander around each other with additional motives and pre-existing feelings for everything, including our beloved Veronica, gone. Malcolm. It’s excellent: play it.




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