In “Mental Entertainment,” the protagonist is charged with evaluating whether three clients have an unhealthy dependence on the virtual reality of its dystopian setting.
Gameplay: Gameplay consists of entering three small virtual-reality settings, having a conversation with the client in each area, and marking each one as healthy or unhealthy. There aren’t any apparent guidelines for judging each person, though, and the dystopian setting isn’t detailed enough to indicate the criteria expected of the narrator or the criteria of interest to the player. Conversations with the NPCs have significant depth, though I didn’t find them extremely illuminating. 5/10.
Mechanics: The bulk of the game is the set of conversations with the three characters, with the player using them to make his or her decision. There’s little explanatory information about the decisions to make and little feedback after making them, though, so the choices feel arbitrary and unsatisfying. Despite the branching of the conversations, there are still many terms the player would reasonably expect to be topic keywords that are not recognized. 4/10.
Presentation: Even though it’s mostly a hub for the three characters’ scenes, the starting room has several embellishments to make it more interesting, including books that give some indication of the setting. The other three settings are less evocative, but the conversations are interesting. 5/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You like dystopian fiction.