A friend mauled me until I played through this. Since I can’t stop thinking about it, I thought I’d pass along the pain/pleasure.
Creatures Such as We, by Lynnea Glasser, is an interactive fiction game from the Choice of Games line–which is frequently brilliant, by the way. You can play it online or via app for free.
The basic story is two-fold: you are a guide at a lunar resort, and in your free time, you play a video game called Creatures Such as We. This game-within-a-game structure is what ends up making this story such a trip. The story will ask questions about meaning, creativity, and consent–among other things–in reference to the interior game. Ultimately, those questions will haunt the frame story’s narrative as well, though. Apart from that, there is also some space adventure to be had, with your own life and the lives of others at stake.
I don’t want to give spoilers, and anyway, that would be difficult. Your choices, made every page or so, shape the story. You have an assortment of characters to interact with, and you can focus attention on whichever ones interest you the most. You can decide exactly what sort of person you will be in the story.
When I play any kind of RP or other flexible game, I’ll admit I can be a little…boring. I’m not the sort who cuts loose in a fictional world; I tend to be scrupulously my best self. I want to save the day and get the girl (or boy or nonbinary person, depending on what is available). This game…does not make that especially easy. Which is not to say it’s an “unwinnable” scenario, or one of those damn “rocks fall, everybody dies” doom stories. I’m not keen on those. What it is, is complicated.
Seriously, this is just me passing on the suffering my friend brought upon me. For the love of robots, play the game and come talk to me about it. I HAVE THOUGHTS.