I Was A Teenage Exocolonist

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2022 was filled with incredible games, from God of War Ragnarok to Elden Ring to Midnight Suns and so on. Yet for me one of the stand-outs was a rather small independent title: I Was A Teenage Exocolonist. The game takes a look at the standard visual novel tropes and expectations, perfects them, then turns it into something brand new.

A bit of context for you: I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is a combination of a visual novel with a card-based puzzler. Your life events and your day-to-day activities are played out in the form of a card game, where you have to solve a specific puzzle in order to progress and thus increase your skills (of which there’s a massive range of, from biology to empathy to how good you are with animals). There’s multiple different endings, multiple different love interests, and above all else, the ability to be whoever you want to be.

The twist that makes it different to most other visual novels out there is that the game works similar to a roguelike. You WILL die, at various different points in the story depending on the choices that you make, and within the story this is explained as a cosmic event that keeps you in a loop.

There’s characters that will die in the story during your first run that you can save in future runs because both you as the player, and the character you’re playing as, remember what happened in previous lives. Once you’ve played multiple times, this heavily streamlines the game to the point that you can literally say to characters “Hey I know your secret” and they respond in shock and awe. Yet despite this being amazing, it’s not what I adore about I Was A Teenage Exocolonist.

Read on…

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