The Best Man is an entrant in 2021 Interactive Fiction competition. Browse and experience all of the games by clicking here.
In The Best Man, you take control of Aiden. He seems like a classic “nice guy” and that’s the problem. When his best friend Laura calls him and asks if he would be willing to step in at the least minute and serve as the best man at her wedding to John, Aiden agrees. Just from the opening conversation between you and Laura, it first seems that The Best Man is going to be one of those romantic comedy games where a nerdy guy goes on an everyday quest (like getting the wedding rings before the ceremony) and eventually “wins the girl.”
Instead, the game reveals that Aiden is not a reliable narrator. He spends a lot of time in a fantasy world, where he and Laura are together and have a beautiful future but actually, it’s obvious that Laura has never considered him to be anything more than just a friend. Aiden is so delusional and obsessive that, about halfway through the game, I wasn’t even sure that Laura had actually called him or that Laura even existed to begin with. The game itself features a lot of minor tasks that need to get done before the wedding but the fact that the whole thing might be in Aiden’s head adds a new wrinkle to the usual romantic comedy. Aiden may think about Laura abandoning her husband-to-be for him but the player knows that would be the worst thing that could happen. It takes courage to write a game where you actively root against the person you’re playing and considerable skill to actually make it work. Fortunately, Stephen Bond has both.
The Best Man is well-written with enough interesting details to make it worth replaying. The mix of dark comedy and disturbing drama really pays off,