Universal Hologram is an entrant in 2021 Interactive Fiction competition. Browse and experience all of the games by clicking here.
Some games just aren’t going to be for everyone and that’s definitely the case with Universal Hologram, a Twine game where you live in a Martian colony and you learn how to astral project. Astral projection leads to some wild dreams but it also leads to the discovery that you are living in a simulation. It’s a long game, one that is more concerned with philosophy than it is with its plot. Each action and decision is a chance for the game’s characters to discuss man’s place in the universe and the nature of reality. If that’s your thing, you’re going to enjoy the game’s mix of the profane and the profound. If you’re not into it and just looking for something more straightforward, you may get frustrated with Universal Hologram‘s deliberately enigmatic narrative.
Myself, though, I enjoyed it. Twine games, by their nature, are best used for games that are like short stories with occasional choices as opposed o traditional puzzle-solving Interactive Fiction. Twine games, above all else, reward good writing and Universal Hologram is very well-written. Mars, the simulation, and the eccentric characters all come to life. The game also includes computer-generated visuals, the better to put you into a dream state. That the game is willing to risk alienating its players is one of the things that makes Universal Hologram stand out from so many other recent Interactive Fiction games. I like games that take risks.