Final Exam

We usually go into a game assuming a bunch of things. We assume that we're human, we assume that the world is either reality or a reality with special rules. We assume that if we wake up and everyone is missing, there must be something Terribly Wrong. Well, there IS something wrong here, but it's nothing along the lines of alien abductions or anything like that. It appears that we are an AI, and this world is a simulation -- at least, I think we're an AI. While a good deal of this world's governance is handled by AIs, it seems to me that the line between human (I don't think we ever meet one) and robot seems a little vague. As best I can tell, the AIs govern the world from within a simulated environment, popping out into the real world (via possession of robot bodies) every so often to conduct maintenance. And the world we're in is isolated and empty for the purpose of the eponymous final exam that we're supposed to be taking.

What's gone wrong, according to our examiner, is that some sort of virus has overtaken much of the system, but our isolation from the system means we're clean and free to go out and do something about it.

All this becomes apparent fairly early in the game. But wait! There's more! Further examination reveals that things are STILL not entirely what they seem....

It's a fascinatingly unique perspective, with a few extra twists to keep one interested. The ideological struggle fueling the conflict is realistically drawn; I personally found the ending a bit chilling, but looking back now I wonder if that was intentional. It occurs to me that whether the ending is good or bad might depend a good deal on how you feel about the conflict. The game never really says outright who is right or wrong, which I think is a realistic way of doing things. Things are never so easy as clear-cut "good" and "bad" in the real world.

This is all backed up by some very good puzzling and craftsmanship. Well done. Breakfast is a savoury crepe (ham, cheese, bechamel sauce) and very black, very strong coffee with a vaguely metallic aftertaste.