Disclosure: A preview copy of Elegy for a Dead World was provided for us to review. The game and experience may change before the final version is released. At the time of publication, the game was not available to the public. Opinions of the game have not been influenced by any outside party or the developer.
This is a review about a game that is…well, not a game. Not in the traditional sense. Instead of playing someone else’s story, you are given three lost civilizations, illustrated by vividly colored backgrounds, monuments, and a curiosity to determine what happened to these places. What were they known for? Why did they fall? What the heck do all of these stones with a “T” on them have to do with anything and why are there so many?
You must answer these questions, which you will record in a diary of sorts. You have the choice to have a little help with some prompts for either your story or poem, or you can go it alone and create your own masterpiece of woe.
The Aesthetics are beautiful. Vivid colors, an environment that looks and feels handcrafted (which I am a huge fan of, your opinion may differ), and a soundtrack that does not distract, but admittedly at times feels weird.
The controls are fairly simple, movement governed by WASD, the occasional enter key. Places where you can pen your thoughts are indicated by a white feather, usually in front of some visually interesting place. First impressions are one thing, but as you continue to explore, your mind might change, bringing about a different story than
you may have ever expected.
During gameplay it was really difficult to get out of someone else’s elegy, but the navigation isn’t clunky (I expected far worse). The feels almost done, so I am interested to see how/if they intend to expand the game beyond what it is now, very simple prompts (that remind me a bit of Mad Libs but without the humor and with more freedom). The third story would’t work for me so this is based on the two I was able to play.
I am looking forward to the finished project, the concept is innovative and unlike anything else I have personally seen on the market. I can see replay potential with it. The system by which you can also share your creation with others is different as well, but might be slightly off-putting for shy people (myself included). I didn’t see a way that you could save your play through without actually sharing it, but I don’t know how much demand there might be for such a feature, even though I’d love to have it.