While other games in this year’s competition have been elaborations or retellings of existing stories, “Abandon Them” is closer to a work of psychoanalytic literary criticism.

Gameplay: The player revisits the story of Hansel and Gretel through a few different viewpoints, which an introductory blurb before each vignette giving the tone and context. The episodes don’t offer much in either plot or insight. The most interesting of them is the final one, in which the player takes the viewpoint of an unrelated (at least, in my interpretation of the story) character who’s simply a passive observer. Its concept has potential, but I didn’t find the actual game itself compelling. 4/10.

Mechanics: The player has few choices to make during the short game, and the ones that are present don’t matter. The introductions to each episode raise a few interesting points, but the game doesn’t offer any tools with which the player can explore them. 3/10.

Presentation: The font is unattractive and hard to read, and the text is often obscured by other elements of the interface. While the passages in the game addressed directly to the reader are interesting, they’re brief and vague. 3/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You enjoy applying literary criticism to familiar stories.

Score: 3

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