Investigator, time to get to work.
Orwell is an Indie Simulation game by Osmotic Studios which was released back in October last year. Admittedly, I was a bit sceptical of this game at first. There are so many political Indie games out there and while I love some of them, I was starting to suffer from fatigue from these games.
So, despite Steam waving this game in my face, I avoided it until recently. Not only was Orwell on sale but it had a free demo. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try so I got the demo. Needless to say, I was impressed. After finishing the demo I quickly picked up Orwell while the sale lasted.
I would say I regret putting Orwell off, but I did get it cheaper so it paid off in the long run.
In Orwell, you play as an investigator who must discover vital information to find the terrorist behind the recent attack on The Nation. As you might have guessed, it isn’t going to be an easy task. The more you investigate, the murkier the story gets. Everyone has secrets and it is your job to find them. How far into someone’s private life will you go in the name of The Nation? Are you really justified to do so?
In terms of gameplay, it is a really simple game. You collect information in the form of Datachunks to create a profile of the suspects. Sometimes two pieces of information conflict with each other and you need to make a judgement call.
What makes Orwell stand out is the story, and how you play a part in unravelling the mystery. At first, it seems like an open and shut case, but then things take a turn for the worst at the end of the first chapter. With each chapter, some questions are answered while new questions and suspects pop up. Just when you think you have figured it out, a curveball is thrown.
I found the story of Orwell captivating. I couldn’t stop playing it once I started. By nature, I am a very curious person, so I had to venture on to get the answers I wanted. I would like to talk a bit more about the characters and the story, but this game is better experienced blind.
I finished the game in four hours, and I am currently on my second playthrough. You see, you have the choice to collect some Datachunks and to leave some out, this gives you several different options on how you play the game and these little decisions affect the game. This gives Orwell a decent replayability factor. Plus, as I am a bit of an achievement hunter, there are 27 Steam Achievements on offer which I am determined to get.
In conclusion, I recommend Orwell to anyone who enjoyed games like Beholder and Papers Please. It kept me on my toes and on the edge of my seat. If you want an insider look on what it feels like to be Big Brother, you need to add Orwell to your Steam Library.