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    Mar 30th, 2018 at 17:01:45     -    Prison Architect (PC)

    The gameís story continues to get more and more intense. It seems everything will be connected in one way or another. I appreciate games who manage to tie together multiple story threads together in a coherent manner. Gameplay continues to evolve and grow and I continue to be amazed by it. I said so before, the mechanic is simply just clicking and dragging, nothing else. Itís an amazing example of how a simple gameplay system can be expanded upon to have so mechanics. The ability to shakedown inmates is crazy, it sent my whole prison into a panic. At least, it seemed to be a panic by how everyone began to run around and my screen began to show me all the contraband that was being found. I was supposed to be finding drugs, but what came up were weapons, poisons, money, and alcohol, along with the drugs. It was crazy. Due to this, I was tasked with building rooms for therapy and counseling to take place in for those who were addicts. The only requirements were for them to be common areas and to have eight chairs. Theyíre simple requirements, but I was able to deck it out and make it look pretty nice.

    Then came the riot in the next chapter. Three chapters in and I was still learning new mechanics. This is where the game got very serious for me, as it showed you via polaroids the chaos happening inside. I panicked, trying to get the situation under control to no avail. I had to wait for riot guards to arrive and then use them to take back the prison. This was as far as I got, but if prison architect is a true job, they have guts of steel.

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    Mar 29th, 2018 at 09:33:40     -    Prison Architect (PC)

    Continuing to play the game, Iím very involved in the mechanics presented. Itís a simple click and drag function but theres just so much you can do. Itís amazing to see how simplicity can open the door to so many options and choices left up to the player to do. I got a bit more free roam with what I wished to do with the prison, and I immediately did what I could to make the prisoners happy. The prison was a mess and I cleaned it up to the best of my abilities and provided what I could in the terms of comfort and entertainment for the prisoners. However, a line from the CEO stood out to me: I could either do my best to satisfy them, or ignore them and use force to keep them in line. As the architect, I donít really have to care for how they feel, as long as they have basic needs. Itís not my job to care for them, simply to give them what is needed to survive. I wish to replay the game and be a dictator, and see how that would impact how my prisoners act. Also, turns out, there is indeed a connected story, and itís quite intriguing. I canít wait to see more.

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    Mar 28th, 2018 at 15:20:03     -    Prison Architect (PC)

    It turns out, I had gotten my games mixed up! I had original thought the premise of Prisoon Architect was that of The Escapists. A few minutes into the game and I was quickly proven wrong. I was under the assumption that you built the best prison possible, then had to escape said prison due to plot reasons. It seems you only build the prison, but thatís far from it. The story elements make themselves clear from the get go, and things turn very dark and serious, very quickly. I can see why this game has been included to this course. Clearly, the delimas you will be faced with are whether or not youíre in the right to decide someones fate. All you do is build the prison, while the law decides which prisoners live or die. Along with that, thereís also a lot of visual representation from the simplistic sprites of the in game vs the detailed polaroids that serve as cutscenes, as well as having the ability to make the execution room holding cells more homely for prisoners spending their last hours on earth in their. The game sets up an odd tone and Iím excited to see where it goes.

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    Feb 15th, 2018 at 10:44:56     -    Firewatch (PS4)

    As the game progresses, the subtlety's of the moral issues presented in the game are pretty nice and varied. From how to deal with shitty campers and how to interact with Delilah, irís cool to see how every choice can impact how the characters interact. However, this is also where moral dilemas come in.

    Should you be a dick? Should you be kind? Flirty? Defensive? All of these options are presented to you and itís up to you to pick. It does leave you with a sick feeling, though. When asked if Henry has left anyone behind in Colorado, you have the option to lie abour Julia, claiming that you didnít have anyone. Sure, sheís on the other side of the world, but the game likes to emphasize the ring you still wear on your finger. Every time you interact with supply caches and the story elements they have inside, you get a perfect view of your wedding ring. A constant reminder of Julia.

    The game also makes it clear that Delilah is supposed to be your possible ďnewĒ Julia, presented with her claiming she is drawing you, something Julia did all the time. It presents an even bigger question: what do you do when the love of your life is no longer the person you fell for? Due to Juliaís early-onset dementia, her personality is the complete opposite of what Henry fell in love with. Does this mean he has the go to leave her and pursue a new love, perhaps in the form of Delilah? Julia is safe in Australia with her family, and sadly, will get to the point where she wonít remembee Henry. Since Henry took the vow to be with her until death do them part, should he stick with her until the end? Or break it off now to avoid further heartache of watching her forget their life together? Itís a difficult situation with no clear answer. Iím becoming more empathetic towards Henry.

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