Although it starts out as a lightheartedly bitter game about the aftermath of a breakup, the second half of “Break Stuff” is a serious narrative about its protagonist’s depression and suicidal thoughts.
Gameplay: There’s an abrupt and jarring shift in tone from the lighter (if cynical) first section to the darker second one. Even if that is a deliberate choice to emphasize the unpredictability of the protagonist’s depression, the game jumped into a much more serious tone without building up enough of the protagonist’s character to make the story about her. This is ultimately a game about having suicidal thoughts, rather than the particular character who has suicidal thoughts. The protagonist doesn’t have a clearly established personality (aside from the plot details of her recent breakup), and her character isn’t developed enough to make the transition between the two halves of the game smooth or to get the player emotionally invested in her situation. 5/10.
Mechanics: In the first half of the game, the choices amount to picking which three of the dozen or so vignettes to read and in which order. Although the larger number of scenes encourages replays, there’s little real interactivity or state to the section. In the second half, the player’s choices do have a substantial effect on the gameplay, though the game strongly pushes the player toward certain plotlines. 4/10.
Presentation: The writing is fine, though I didn’t come away from playing the game with any particularly memorable scenes or dialogue. The narrative didn’t build enough of a connection between me and the protagonist for me to get invested in her plight, and that’s the prime goal of the game. 4/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You’ve had an experience similar to the protagonist’s.