A game about… writing?
Elegy For a Dead World was developed and published by Dejobaan Games, previously best known for their completely different title “AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity!”.
EfaDW is a fresh and unique genre defining game in which you play an astronautical historian flying through space to document the history of the three ‘dead worlds’ (I’m pretty sure that was a run on sentence…). Each of these worlds are, obviously, different from the last.
The main draw to the game here is the free form ability to write and either record what you see, or tell a story, be it silly or serious. The story truly is different every time you play, because you are the one who writes it. Do you want to document it? How was this planet remembered? Do you feel like writing about the planets main export? Or do you want to record the experiences you had? Did your jetpack break, forcing you to walk the rest of the planet? Did you stop to read a book in the ruins of a library? I know I asked a lot of questions, but these are the ones you will be asking yourself as you record your story.
Not only can you create your own story, however. You can also read the elegies left by other people. I read a good number of these. In one, the writer appears to be trapped on this planet because his ship was destroyed, in another he was out documenting a planet by himself because the government of his planet believed the trip to be a waste of resources. Most of the stories I read were written in first person, a few were in third person, and couple were written in second.
Elegy also teaches grammar by the way. That’s right, because of the amount of stories people would be writing off of the game, it’s easy to understand why they would want the people who write on it to have a good handle on grammar. However, like always, you have the occasional person who will completely disregard it.
The game is also devoid of music, but this isn’t a bad thing. As you fly (or walk if you’re into that sort of thing) through stages, you will hear only the sound ambient sound of the planet. It seems to me that silence is not the lack of sound, but the lack of noise. Without the music you can hear the sounds of the planet naturally. No cars, no people, just the sound of nature.
If you can’t afford the time to come up with stuff and write in it yourself, or just want to be able to read everyone else’s stories, that’s okay! You can access and read all of the stories via the Steam Community, which is a really nice feature.
Elegy for a Dead World is a perfect example of a good indie game.
They seem small, but they can have more substance than a million dollar Triple-A game. If you’re a writer in a slump (like me), Elegy for a Dead World could be exactly what you need too, as you have to push through the game, writing on the fly (you can of course, go back and edit the stories later, though).
If you’re craving a fast paced action game similar to AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!, this really isn’t for you, but I can honestly say Elegy for a Dead World was something I didn’t know I wanted until I had it.