Replica is an interactive novel game where you do a lot of detective work in what is an Orwellian story about a United States that has fallen to fear and has allowed Homeland Security to control a lot more than what the public is willing. It is a telling tale that puts a cellphone in your face with little-to-no direction, and it is up to you to not only find your bearings, but to tackle this wild story how you see fit.
But is Replica a story and game worth your detective skills? Or would your money serve you better by buying 1984 by George Orwell instead? (I mean, you should absolutely read that book if you have not already, but I digress.) Let’s find out!
The game starts you off with a cell phone in your hand, and this is the setting for the entire game. At first, this feels a bit shallow and quite confusing, especially since you do not know the passcode to the phone nor have you been given any information or storytelling to catch you up with what is being presented to you initially.
But that is precisely the premise of the game. You need to figure something out, and within minutes, you are working your way through an Orwellian story that is quite captivating and interestingly engaging. Although the game has been out on other platforms for years, I will refrain from sharing any other major details of the story to prevent spoiling. All I can tell you is that it is excellently told and gives you a lot of possible outcomes based on your actions and ultimate decision-making.
Replica was clearing designed with mouse in mind (Or at least touch screen), because the interface is a smartphone with touch controls. Although it does not feel so natural on the Switch with standard controls (Pro Controller or Joy-Con), it still controls really well, and since there is no urgency in your actions, quickly finding things and investigating is not necessary.
However, Replica absolutely controls best in handheld mode where the touch screen is enabled and feels great. As to be expected, touching, scrolling, and sliding on the touch screen immerses the player into the game and story unlike the other options. It genuinely feels like you are on someone else’s phone and figuring out who it belongs to and what they are in to.
I have a minor complaint that would be awesome if it was implemented in a future update, but I would have loved to play the game in tatte/vertical mode to give it a more authentic cellphone feel. But other than that, the game plays great and controls incredibly well in handheld.
The game can be cleared quite quickly, but that is not where the fun lies. In true Orwellian fashion, the story plays out in such a way that you do not know what is the best thing to do, so you decide based on conviction. The grand difference maker between a book like this and Replica is that your decisions play into the story. You have a lot more control and options, and that is what gives this game so much value and replayability.
This is not a game suitable for many because of its high-level puzzle-solving and detailed storytelling, but what is offered here is rich, unique, and fun. The story pays homage to the great George Orwell while also being relevant to modern times, and it is truly a welcome addition to anyone’s Switch library.
If you are looking for a mystery game with interactive storytelling, then I highly recommend Replica. It is an affordable adventure that that will entertain from start to finish, and there is simply nothing else like it on the market.
Tutto nello Stato,
niente al di fuori dello Stato,
nulla contro lo
Great interactive storytelling
Lots of possible endings
Solid controls in handheld mode
Awesome soundtrack that is easy to miss
No vertical mode in handheld
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.