Michael Kielstra’s “Pegasus” is an unusual attempt to present what feels like a choice-based game in a parser-based medium. It’s a story- and character-focused work involving an important choice to be made about the fate of an ally and friend, told through a series of flashbacks to their training together.

Gameplay: The game plays through a series of vignettes in the training of the protagonist and a fellow member of the military or paramilitary group they’re in. It’s parser-based and thus has that corresponding open-endedness, but the conversation trees and linearity and of each vignette make it feel more like a choice-based game. That setup makes it continue briskly along, and it’s well-paced. 5/10.

Mechanics: There’s a mild amount of state to the game, and the vignettes generally have some small puzzle or task to accomplish, rather than progressing along rails to the end. None of those puzzles involved much thought, though, and the conversation trees didn’t have much depth. The only real branch in the plot is in the final scene, and it only determines which ending the player immediately receives. 4/10.

Presentation: The militaristic near-future setting is convincingly shown rather than told. Ultimately, though, I didn’t care about the protagonist’s friend. The flashbacks showed the friend and the narrator’s interactions with her, but they didn’t illuminate much of her personality or the nature of their relationship. The moral choice driving the game therefore felt like an abstract philosophical problem rather than a personal choice affecting the life of a friend. 4/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You like games about military camaraderie and making difficult decisions.

Score: 4

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