Postmortem: One Must Die

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Postmortem: One Must Die on Steam (or buy the “base” game free here)

MSRP: $2.99

Platform: Windows

Release: 8/15/13


Postmortem: One Must Die is one of those games that, despite a fantastic concept, fails somewhat in the execution.  You play as the agent of death, and you are sent to a party to choose one person who won’t live until morning. It’s not a murder mystery, though, whoever you select will appear to have died of natural causes.  What makes it interesting, however, is that the story is set in a time of great conflict, and not only can you have an influence on that conflict by the life you choose to take, but by conversations that you have with the people you don’t choose.

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The graphics are nothing special, the controls are a little clumsy, but simple and forgiving. There’s a brief tutorial on the controls, and you can also get some background on the situation while you’re there.  There is no voice acting, and the background music is pretty easily identifiable classical music. All of these things are fine, considering this is more of a choose-your-own adventure visual novel than a game.

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If you’re thorough, and a slow reader, a play through might take you thirty minutes, because disappointingly, there is only one scenario.  Although there is some replay value – you’re making a lot of choices that effect the world after the end of the game, and it’ll be interesting to see just how influential you can be.  However, this is where the execution failed for me.  I would have loved to see a series of scenarios in which you carefully consider a group of people, and decide which one doesn’t get another day of life.

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Since release, the price has dropped by about 50%, and the developer has added in an extra character & some additional dialogue options.  It is also possible to download the release version free from the developer’s site, and honestly, that would be my recommendation if you’re intrigued.  Although I was a little disappointed in Postmortem: One Must Die, I am really enamored with the concept, and will keep an eye out for future projects for this developer.

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