What are some good shorter narrative focused games from 2018?

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#1 Edited by clagnaught (2140 posts) -

I enjoy playing shorter, narrative focused games, whether they are just focused on telling a story, like Gone Home or What Remains of Edith Finch, or mix in some adventure game elements, like Detention or Life Is Strange. With some of the games I mentioned, there's the added bonus of only being a couple of hours long, so you can finish them in a single sitting or over the weekend.

With that in mind, what are some good games of this variety from 2018? I may vary well be forgetting about something, but it feels like there hasn't been many standout games in this style so far this year. What do you all recommend?

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#2 Edited by Franstone (1534 posts) -

A friend of mine who was a designer on Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite developed his own game called Perception which I immediately thought of when you said Gone Home, shorter, narrative focused.
Of course I'm potentially biased here (hah) but I haven't even played it yet and thought you might as well take a look since it sounds like you could be into it. It has a certain style that you'd have to be into I'm sure but won't hurt to look!

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#4 Posted by Savage (788 posts) -

It came out just two weeks shy of 2018, but I want to give special mention to Finding Paradise. So far, it's my favorite narrative-focused game I've played this year. It's the most recent game from Kan Gao, creator of To The Moon. It takes place in the same universe, with the same story conceit (playing as employees of a company hired to change a client's memories on their deathbed), but it's a new standalone story. Like To The Moon, it takes about 5 hours to finish, combines a heartfelt and bittersweet story with light touches of humor, punches above its weight in production values, and will make most players shed a tear or two.

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#5 Edited by LeStephan (1215 posts) -

Tacoma just came out on ps4, from the studio that brought us gone home. I've only played an hour so far but im already liking it way more than gone home which i already liked a lot. Though it technically already came out last year on xbox, right?

Also Observer, came out last year. The atmosphere is simply dripping from every filthy corner of the apartment building your 'exploring'.

Soma is even older but maybe still my favourite from the 3 I'm mentioning here. Just mentioning it in case you hadn't checked it out yet. Its a really really good one of these, don't let the horror aspects scare you away.

If, like me, you appreciate exploring compact, cohesively thought out, lived in spaces to piece together stuff yourself you probably cant go wrong with any of those three.

But THIS year? Man I dont know. Cant think of much...

I can only think of Infernium which seems interesting but I havent tried it yet and it seems maybe a bit more gameplay focused.

And Agony, I think, is coming out soon but that too is more survival-horror if im not mistaken.

Forgotton Anne might be something to look into?

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#6 Posted by clagnaught (2140 posts) -

@lestephan: Tacoma and Soma are the types of games I'm looking for. Although, I played Tacoma last year and played enough of Soma to think I'm probably not in the mood for that type of experience (maybe those mods that turn off the monsters would help?). Out of the other three you mentioned, Forgotten Anne seems to be the most interesting to me. At the very least, I really like its style.

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#7 Edited by MattGiersoni (587 posts) -

@clagnaught Have you tried or heard about "Where The Water Tastes Like Wine"? Released this year, It bombed sales wise sadly but got fairly good critical reception. From the steam store page: "Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a Narrative-Adventure game about traveling, sharing stories, and surviving manifest destiny. Featuring gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine combines 2D visuals with a 3D overworld US map." Not sure what platforms do you own, it's only on PC, but it's not a demanding game so should run on a potato even. I really recommend it, very nice artstyle, good writing with a lot of characters written by various people from different fields, one was even written by former giant bomb and now waypoint editor, Austin Walker :) Maybe this will be something that you're looking for. It's about 8-20 hours long.

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#8 Posted by Goboard (293 posts) -

The last act won't be out till later this year, but Kentucky Route Zero is an incredible narrative adventure game. The TV edition will also include the interstitial games which will increase the overall time to around 12-16 hours but they are very much worth experiencing between each act. Just be prepared for a very melancholic experience.

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#9 Posted by clagnaught (2140 posts) -

@goboard: I've been looking forward to Kentucky Route Zero. I took the "I'll wait until all of the episodes are out" approach, which resulted in me waiting 3+ years for this.

@mattgiersoni: I forgot about Where The Water Tastes Like Wine. Man, that game really did come and go. Too bad it didn't sell well.