“Dead Man’s Fiesta” is a game about a man who rents a car after a funeral and deals with the ghosts who haunt it.
Gameplay: The game involves interacting with the three ghosts haunting the car through various scenes. It’s a longer work than I expected but managed to sustain my interest throughout. Although the narrator and the ghosts are well-described characters with definite goals, the game is more focused on the musings of its characters and their discussions together rather than any particular plots. Still, the game didn’t make a very strong impression on me. The overall impression was a positive one, but there were few specific, individual points that I found memorable. 5/10.
Mechanics: The game is choice-based, but it was unclear in place how exactly the choices made at decision points advanced the plot. Despite the game’s coming across as a somewhat philosophical road-trip adventure, I had the definite impression that there was an game or puzzle in trying to put the three ghosts to rest by making the right choices (informed by help from the fortune-teller). 5/10.
Presentation: The work kept up its wry and mildly absurdist tone throughout, and the artwork was a great complement to the text. The deliberate delays in text bothered me, though; I’m a fast reader (and one with a pile of games to play through on a deadline), and staring at text I’ve already read doesn’t create any effect beyond annoying me. I also don’t think anything was served by the removal of most punctuation and capitalization. The overall impression was that the game was simply opaque for the sake of being opaque in places. 4/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You like the style of the author’s prose or art.