In “DEVOTIONALIA”, the protagonist is a priest in an ophidian cult who makes an offering to his gods. They’re no longer a constant presence in the world of the game, and a large part of the game concerns the priest’s reflections on this fact.

Gameplay: The story is short, starting with a narrative about the priest’s daily duties and then describing his offering to his gods. The player makes that offering by choosing among a menu of options, including one for the type of offering itself: a votice object, a sacrifice, or a prayer. As the walkthrough notes, the choices are less about determining the plot and final scenes than about determining how the protagonist interprets them. 5/10.

Mechanics: There are two mechanics to the game: Clicking through highlighted words in the narrative to change them, and making choices to prepare the offering. The former changes the tone of the piece, with the substitutions generally sliding from mystic to prosaic with each click. The latter determines the final scenes of the game and, more importantly, the priest’s reactions to it. There are fewer options than there might appear at first, as most of the configurations for the offering wind up triggering the same scenes, but there’s enough variation to justify repeated replays. 5/10.

Presentation: The pensive mood of the game supports its plot. The author handles the alien details of the world well, showing rather than telling and focusing on the story rather than belaboring the setting details. It’s a much more original setting and plot than most games have, and the author provides just enough details to make it comprehensible but still mysterious, befitting the priest’s uncertainty about his gods. 5/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You like character-based interactive fiction involving unusual characters in unusual settings.

Score: 5

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