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10 Dec 2020

REVIEW: Orwell's Animal Farm on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
in 1945 George Orwell released an allegorical novella called Animal Farm, it is often hailed as one of the greatest books of all time.

Written during a time of war, and Stalinism, its basic premise is one of a critique of the rise of Communism. Pretty light stuff for a video game don't you think?

Well, some 75 years later a game has been developed whereby you can take the decisions, make the important choices and basically be part of the revolution.

The game itself is not really a "game" in the classic sense, it is more of a visual novel but with defined journeys and outcomes that you decide.

You are in charge of Manor Farm, and you have a group of various animals, you chose who is listened to, who is ignored, who works what job on the farm and so on, every choice matters. The main purpose is to last 7 years, of course the wrong choices will end up with everything going wrong. Everything is about balance. Keeping everyone happy or at least content.

With the game being released now, I suspect that the game makers think they are pointing out a certain set of issues that exist in 2020, but perhaps inadvertently they are actually exposing what is to come. Either way this is not a kid's game, and I think it would be hard for anyone who has not read the book to take much out of this game.

The Good
The game is very well drawn. And you will replay the game to see the different outcomes.

The Bad
Far too often you will find yourself not really paying attention and instead just clicking through actions to see the different outcomes. So good and bad in that respect.
There isn't really that much to do, you are just making the odd choice and seeing what happens.

Overall
This is a tough one to judge. I understand what the game makers wanted to achieve, and in many ways, they have achieved what they set out to do, the problem is that in many ways it is all a bit dull. The lack of actual game play is a problem here. This is basically a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, but stripped down to the absolute minimum to fit into a game. I actually think this would work better as a proper book.

I Score the game 4/10
By Jon Donnis

Steam, Humble, GMG and Epic Games Store $9.99 £7.99 €9.99
App Store, Google Play, and Amazon's App Store: $3.99 £3.99 €3.99.

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