Elsinore

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Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Released: July 2019. Added to this library 6 weeks ago.

Overview

Elsinore is a mystery-adventure set in Shakespeare's Hamlet. You play Elsinore who repeats the same four days as she tries to find a way to avoid the tragedy that lies before her.

You move around by clicking with the mouse and talk with different characters by choosing dialogue options. These simple interactions play into a complex living world where the story plays out around you in real-time. The challenge is to make interventions to change the course of its outcome. Lie, forgive, gossip, befriend, or destroy — the actions you can take at any stage are numerous, and the game immediately responds.

This is made all the more real because each character manages their own lives, schedules, needs, desires, and plans over the course of each time loop. Even the smallest interaction has an impact on the world around you as it unfolds.

What starts as a bewildering array of options slowly coalesces into plans over the course of each loop. Each time through you have more information gleam from previous plays and more options for intervention.

The game is engaging and intriguing but also requires considerable patience and planning. Meticulously crossing points off in your journal, learning more information, and trying to see how events could overlap takes time. You can spend an entire timeline loop pursuing a single character to learn how to subvert their actions. Some will find this exhausting, but for those who love a riddle to solve, Elsinore is a treat.

Commitment

Duration: This game will take between 7 hours and 12 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

Costs

Does not include in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Ratings

Elsinore has no ESRB or PEGI rating, as it doesn't have a physical release and isn't on consoles. It includes themes of death, murder and sex. Sex scenes are only implied in the dialogue rather than depicted. Murder and death are shown in the hand-drawn visual style and not overly bloody.

Accessibility

System settings: Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators... read more.


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Similar Games

The following games address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play after Elsinore, and also offer a range of alternatives for different age ratings.

Maquette

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Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Maquette is a puzzle game played in a series of nested identical worlds. What you do in the larger world effects things in the smaller one, and so on. Every building, plant, and object are simultaneously tiny and staggeringly huge.


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Costs: Purchase cost.

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I Am Dead

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Costs: Purchase cost.

I Am Dead is a puzzle game from the creators of Wilmot's Warehouse. You play a recently-deceased museum curator trying to avert a disaster from his home town of Shelmerston.


Outer Wilds

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Genres: Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between 16 hours and 21 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Outer Wilds is an exploration space mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time-loop. After 20 minutes of game time, you must start again – but each time brings a new opportunity to learn how you ended up on the planet and solve the...


Tangle Tower

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Duration: Between 6 hours and 7 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Tangle Tower is a murder mystery game, from the same developer as Snipperclips, where you explore a grand old house and it’s intertwining families to solve a mysterious murder. You are given the events of the murder, each...


Ghost Trick

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Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free-to-start. In-game purchases.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a game where you play a ghost that can stop time to solve crimes and save lives. You can inhabit and control objects and possess corpses to alter what happens. His ultimate aim is to use his memories to find out how he...


Telling Lies

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Telling Lies is from the same developer as Her Story. It's named as an investigative thriller game with non-linear storytelling by the developer.


Return of the Obra Dinn

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You play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have all mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the moment of death for each body in order to identify each...


Elsinore is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Elsinore in the following lists:

Branching Stories With Multiple Endings

All games offer you agency. You can win or lose. You can complete them or stop at any time. But there are some games that offer a story that genuinely branches. Where you end up will be different from other players. This not only makes your actions really matter but also gives you a reason to play them again.

Setting aside games that evolve through simulation, or games where once you die it's game over, these branching narrative games tell a story that ends in a certain way because of the choices you made.
 

Attempt The Impossible

How hard a game is considered to be depends on who is playing it. A three-year-old tackling Zelda will struggle. But equally a new-to-games-parents will find Mutant Mudds quickly gets beyond them. The games in this list are known for being difficult. They wear the difficulty as a badge of honour. "None shall pass," except this with the will, time and belligerence to get good enough at this particular activity to beat the high bar the game sets.

This might be grappling with the flying mechanics in Rocket League, getting endlessly lost trying to find the next guardian in Shadow of the Collosus or coming up with the right tactic to get enough money for the ship you need in Elite. Of course, some of these games can be made easier, but to play them at their best is to ramp up the difficulty to max (crushing on The Last Of Us for example) and let them give you all they've got.
 

Bend Time To Your Advantage

Time in video games is a valuable thing. Unlike in the real world where it proceeds in a linear fashion, in a game it may speed up, slow down or even go backwards. There are some games where controlling time becomes a crucial and fascinating game mechanic. The best of these integrate your time travelling powers with both characters and narrative to create a compelling experience.
 

Persevere After Losing

Video games where you adventure into a harsh setting, try your hardest to survive and slowly develop your abilities but then inevitably die are often called Rogue-likes. This is because one of the first games that offered this style of play was called Rogue.

These are interesting games for families, not only because their difficult nature leads to shorter sessions, but also because they foster perseverance and coping with losing. After dying you are sent back to some sort of central village where you can choose upgrades for your next attempt. The incentive to play again once you have been killed is usually that you start with some more equipment or skills.

In this way, by belligerence and a slowly learned understanding of how the game world works and how best to survive, you incrementally get a bit further each time you play. Here are some really good roguelike games for families:
 
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