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Played in 2023
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"There will always be things in life that escape our control. We cannot fight them all. But we can mourn, remember, learn, share, and accept."
I'll try not spoil too much because I think Cosmic Wheel is something you should experience as blindly as possible but Deconstructeam just gets it man. Most of your time is spent in these confined walls of an asteroid. Trying to find ways to past the time playing with your deck, going through your backlog of books, or in some cases I end up reflecting on the choices and conversations I made with visitors. They understand that histrionic feeling of isolation. Wanting your voice to be heard. To feel like you truly exist in this world and the desperate measures you might take to make these thoughts a reality. This is the kind of game where you leave with one of the themes reaching you on some level whether it be depression, sexual frustration, anxiety, discovering your role in the world, or gender dysphoria.
Fortuna was such a great protagonist for this type of interactive narrative too. Watching her grow or regress from her coping mechanisms or quirks while doing her best to talk to visitors and perceive what future fate has in store for them. The decision to have your each of your playthroughs have one dedicated slot that gets override via autosave adds to this as well. No one truly knows what fate has in store for them and how we deal with it is how we grow as people. Do we try to face these odds head on? Will we get overwhelmed by them and flee? Is there something to learn from these hardships or will they haunt and torment our memories?
There's a demo but also buy this game if this kind of experimental storytelling intrigues you. It was nice to see future my tarots saw mentioned as the story progressed. The visuals, music, overarching messages and tranquil moments of creating your tarot cards to your upmost vision are all magnificent.
I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up ranking high or even being my number one game of the year.