Critical Play: Mysteries

The game I played was Life Is Strange. The overlaying mystery of this game is that you don’t know where it’s going. Players are exposed to many scenes and given a lot of information that might seem random or irrelevant at the time. However, as the narrative continues and the players learn to use the key mechanics of the game, players get to learn what everything ultimately led to and connect the end of the game with one of the beginning scenes of the game. In the end, the mystery of the game is the scene in which the lighthouse in front of the town where the narrative takes place gets knocked down. The narrative is woven into the mystery because the mysterious lighthouse scene is seen at the beginning of the game. Then, the main character of the game talks to friends, meets people, and gains information throughout the gameplay, which takes her to that mysterious scene at the end of the game. The mystery at the end is solved as the players figure out what that lighthouse scene meant – a choice that the main character has to make to decide between fate and choice. The key mechanics of the game is that the main character can rewind time and the character can interact with other characters to gain information, which means that players can rewind the time and make different choices. These mechanics support the mystery because no matter what you do, it takes a lot of time to uncover things. Additionally, the mechanic gives players a large amount of information and choices, making the game plot seem hazy. Therefore, these mechanics support the mystery of players not knowing where the game plot is headed to.

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