Some games are based on a particular twist that makes them difficult to review without spoiling. “URA Winner” begins ostensibly a simple bit of test preparation, but it has a more interesting and creepier secret.

Gameplay: There are two halves to the game, the second of which may not be apparent to the player at the beginning (and it’s even possible to reach an end to the game without finding it). In the first, the player simply answers a short list of questions on three basic subjects, with short passages between the retests explaining some of the underlying concepts. In the second part of the game, the situation becomes more surreal and a bit creepy, even involving the author’s game from the previous IFComp. (I wonder if the latter was written specifically for that reason. If so, that’s an impressive setup on the author’s part.) 5/10.

Mechanics: The mechanics of the game are straightforward, even if the game itself isn’t. The method of passing into the second half of the game is well-clued and fits the style of the game. There are a few clues foreshadowing it, and it’s entertaining to discover. The second half is similarly straightforward, even if its content is more surreal. The only unexplained thing I found was that some of the math questions seem genuinely incorrect, even taking the underlying secret of the game and the mechanic in the first section into account. (On the other hand, like most other mathematicians, I can’t do simple arithmetic.) 6/10.

Presentation: The revelation in the game is fun to discover, and the steps leading up to it are clear without dragging the player along. The point of the game is that trick, and it’s executed well. 6/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You like creepy games that have some underlying secret to discover.

Score: 6

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