Anyone who’s worked in any sort of technological field has anthropomorphized his or her hardware and idly wondered what it gets up to when the humans leave. In this game, we get to see it: The protagonist is a futuristic cleaning robot who has to fend for itself after the world changes.
Gameplay: The game is choice-based, with the decisions mostly involving directing the robot to perform its tasks. It’s an open world, and the tasks can be performed in any order, but playing the first half of the game is simply a matter of running through the available options until there aren’t any left. Still, the game is a narrative along the lines of “A Mind Forever Voyaging,” where the story is about wandering through and observing the world as it changes, rather than directly influencing it yourself. 5/10.
Mechanics: For most of the game, you simply explore the estate, cleaning up rooms as necessary; there’s not much to do beyond performing your tasks (which makes sense for a game fundamentally about robots and agency). Toward the end, you have a bit more freedom. It seemed like the choices at that point were indeed meaningful and opened up multiple endings, but I didn’t want to replay the substantial less-interactive part of the game again to verify that. There are a couple of what could be considered inventory puzzles at the end of the game, but they’re simply a matter of finding the proper items. 4/10.
Presentation: The best feature of the game is that it consistently shows rather than tells its story. The characters in the game are fleshed out by small background details observed by the protagonist, who itself is a somewhat unreliable narrator and whose personality is developed by the details it observes but interprets differently from the player. 6/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You like robots and have wondered about what it means to have free will.