The Cambridge Geek

Orwell: Ignorance is Strength

This was never not going to get played, because I had far too much fun with the first one.

You live in a world that contains "Orwell", a system of surveillance that uses the general public to investigate people of interest, giving the government of "The Nation" plausible deniability if that information is misused.

Definitely not the creepy sort of surveillance.

So as one of those investigative agents, you have to dig through the internet, email, phone records and people's devices, to find interesting titbits of information to pass on to the government.

That's where the subtlety comes from in this. The government will only have access to the small snippets you send them. These can free or damn suspects, or even run counter to the whole Orwellian system. There are various different ways you can get the plot the develop. These bits of uploaded information are necessary to discover further links and hidden knowledge.

And for me, the real fun is in the connecting clues to uncover more and more information. Picking the right piece of information from many, and trying to get to the right conclusion in the smallest number of moves is joyful. Who would have thought that being a nosy devil could be so much fun?

Each bit of knowledge leads to the next.

Admittedly, there are some frustrating bits where you're not quite sure what to pass on. It's possible to get the "wrong" answer, and there are hidden time limits playing in the background that you won't necessarily know about before they strike. This adds an unexpectedly tense element, when you have only a few more actions you can take before the next action.

It's a mostly static affair, with minimal interface, but there are a few bits of voice acting sprinkled through. These add some character, although never to make anybody likable. Pretty much everybody in this is horrible. Including you.

The episodes are relatively short (one to two hours each), though I've not yet played the third. Realised partly through the second that I had forgotten most of the first game and re-installed it to have a play through. And if you haven't played the first, I'd recommend starting there. It's sufficiently different from most other things that it's worth a look even if you think it might not be to your liking.

Score 5

Tagged: Game Puzzle 2D Easy difficulty PC