In The Friend Zone

I remember when the phrase "friend zone" first appeared on "Friends"; probably that's when it was first coined. Back then, it was a place one put oneself into -- that is, if you found yourself there, it was your own damn fault for not making your intentions plain; certainly not the fault of the supposed object of your affections. Today I find that it's turned into an accusation: it's all about poisonous resentment, blaming the object of one's affections for heartlessly casting one aside. So I was a little wary going into this. I really don't care for the modern usage.

Anyway. This was weird. I think the premise is a rather dark take on the original interpretation, as a response to the more modern interpretation: that the "friend zone" is a prison into which one puts oneself, not simply because one has failed to make it clear how one feels, but because one is in fact chasing an unattainable dream, and giving it a different face with each new crush. The failure to "click" is a result of something wrong in the "nice guy"'s psyche.

But maybe I'm spending too much time on the premise and philosophy. How does this work as a game?

Well, it's pretty affecting. It's a surreal mess, but not so incoherent that I can't make some sense out of it, so that's a good thing. It's pretty artfully crafted, a good balance between an open world and a directed play. Maybe some of the imagery is gratuitious and overly abstruse. The world seems to change with your choices in a way that I associate more with the model of a parser game than with hypertext fiction, which I consider a very good thing: it gives one the sense of having impacted the world in some way.

Buttermilk pancakes, corned beef hash and black coffee.