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Discotheque - Gomie v. 2015 
 PostMon Feb 08, 2016 9:40 pm
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There's a car hidden somewhere in this picture. Can you find it? If so, you'll get to see the ending of the game!
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This guy played the game 4 times. Now that's all he can say!
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What kinda secret could this guy have? His eyes are just two little lines!
This is a review of 1GAM: January - Discotheque.

TacoBot's Discotheque is a game that reminds me a lot of RobCurrie's Late For Work. Like Late For Work, Discotheque is a game with a time limit. Instead of racing to save your job, you have four minutes to find out about the main character, a man named Jerry. What brings him to the Discotheque tonight? What's waiting for him when he goes home? The choices you make will affect the answers to those questions.

Since there's no battles to be had, no equipment to be found, the game boils down to walking around the club and talking to NPCs. Some of them know you, some of them don't, but the conversations you have with them will reveal things about your past. Once you've figured that out, you can talk to the people who will make a difference on your future.

The downside is that most of the NPCs will repeat the same thing over and over.. are they giving you another chance to make the right choice? Or are they just there to fill in space? It's impossible to say but it makes the game feel empty and repetitive. There's no descriptive text on anything in the club either, so you don't get that risky feeling of "I want to see what this has to say, but will I regret losing that time later?". Maybe the worst problem is that you're limited to just one room. That instantly tells you how big the game is and takes away potential tension of the time limit.

In fact, that was one of the big things Late To Work had going for it. Because you had multiple maps and multiple challenges, you could never be sure whether or not your reserve of time was going to be good enough. And then once you'd raced through the game the first time, you felt encouraged to go back and see what you had missed out on. In Discotheque, I spent nearly a minute and a half of my time just waiting for the song to be over and me to be allowed to leave the club.

I replayed the game once to see if there was an alternate ending, which there was, but I'm not about to play it again. I have no idea what the game wants from me and I'm not gonna spend four more minutes of my life listening to that song. For a game about character, I would've liked to see more thought go into the walkabouts. It's hard to wonder too much about a guy as bland looking as Jerry is. There are portraits for the NPCs which flesh them out a little more. Was a good touch. The maptiles do feel like a night club and the color changing is effective without being seizure inducing.

It's my opinion that the most important part of a story is the ending. Discotheque is a game all about story but the endings were the worst part. Maybe there's some big happy ending that I'm too stupid to find? Something to make 12+ minutes of that song worthwhile? Not for me. I wouldn't recommend not playing it, but playing it just once is going to make you too curious to not play it again. Playing it more than once is going to drive you nuts. Without a means to end the game early, it's just a major pain in the butt.
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