Dyscourse is the latest release from Owlchemy Labs and was crowdfunded through Kickstarter; Owlchemy Labs is also know for the first SteamVR game announced (Job Simulator) and other games such as the Oculus Rift game Aaaaaculus! and their mobile games such as Shoot Many Robots.
Dyscourse is a point-and-click survival orientated adventure game set on a deserted island after a plane crash and follows the survivors of the crash; while the plot may raise memories of the first season of Lost the TV series it is certainly not like the series.The game is a relatively short game at roughly 1 hour however it does have replay value as there are many different choice paths to go down to change the ending for players to explore.
The game puts you in control of Rita who is the last survivor to wake up and very quickly you will need to make choices that will affect the gameplay and will be commented on later down the line; every choice is meaningful. On completion of the game it shows who lived and what they are now doing and who died as well as how they died.
Dyscourse is heavily choice influenced and characters in-game respond to you differently depending on your actions; as Rita you play through several days on the island and at the end of each day you are able to converse with three of the other survivors to learn more about them and understand what they were doing on the plane. Who you decide to help during the day does change how the characters respond to you and they are not afraid to tell you what they think needs to be done or push for it; there are also early choices that affect the late game developments including who dies and who trusts you.
The non-playable characters are interesting and their backstories will be revealed the more you speak to them. Characters will also complain about hunger and thirst to make you think about who should be feeding when food is limited; the end of my first playthrough also had an ending where I chose who to take off the island with me and one character wanted to stay as he did not feel there was much for him to go back to.
Even the endings can make you choose between characters as you decide who to take with you off the island and who to leave behind, possibly to die. It may take several playthroughs to understand the characters and several attempts to keep as many characters alive as possible.
While plot makes a game, graphics are important and the Dyscourse graphics are a unique 2D style which does work well for point-and-click games and is very memorable.
The way the game changes for players is certainly impressive and fans of choice-driven games should certainly include Dyscourse in their steam library at some point, fans of Telltale Games should also consider purchasing the game. While being short the replay value certainly makes up for it and will allow many hours of playtime, only a small amount of the word count is seen in one playthrough; seeing all 120,000+ words will require many different playthroughs of the game. However to some the game may not be worth it’s current price due to it’s short initial play time and for those people waiting for a sale is probably the better option.
“everyone’s playthrough will have a unique story to tell”
The claim made on the Dyscourse’s official website is certainly true and they’ve done a great job at ensuring this with consistent game changing choices throughout.
Dyscourse is available to purchase through steam along with a special edition which included the original soundtrack of 77 songs, digital artbook and ‘making of’ video. The game is available on Windows, Mac and Linux so all PC user are able to play the game.