Penrose Review

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Posted: 5 weeks ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Penrose is a text adventure, where you don't only read the story and choose its next step, but can go back into the text to change it in all sorts of mind-bending ways. As the develop describes it, "Penrose is a non-linear narrative adventure game about time, choice, and the nature of obsession."

It starts as a story about descending down into an unknown building. But then you notice that some words are highlighted. You can select these and choose to change the word. For example, you find a generator in the building. But you can change the text so that it is either on or off. One word means there is no light while the other word means there will be. But if you change the word to on, there are also then alarm systems you have to navigate later in the text.

This tweaking of the text is a bit like pulling at at frayed edge of a tapestry. You pull at it, not realising what unintended consequences it might lead to. As the story unravels before you, you are led back and forth through the text in unexpected and interrelated ways.

You also get to see the same event from a different perspective of each character. This adds more layers to consider when change key elements of the text. It also offers more insight into what is really going on in the story as you hear their differing inner monologues.

DetailsDetails

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 01/09/2020

Platforms: Android, Web Browser and iOS.

Genres: Adventure, Creative and Narrative.

Developer: @DoubleSpeakGame

 

TipsTips

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 4 hours and 5 hours to complete. Although this may take longer depending on reading time and how much back and forth you do between characters and words.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

This game is free to play. Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

You can play about half the game for free via web browser and then finish for about $1/£1 on Apple or Android. On the apps you can select from the start from demo option.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 12 for mild swearing.

ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for mild violence and mild language.

12+ on the Apple App Store for Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence, Profanity or Crude Humour, Horror/Fear Themes, Cartoon/Fantasy Violence, Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References, Mature/Suggestive Themes

AccessibilityAccessibility

Accessibility for this game is as follows:

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Cognitive Pressure

Reaction-time Not Critical: Individual game actions don’t need quick reactions.

Low Pressure: Game tasks aren’t time-limited or with a high emphasis on performance. Or there is a low pressure play-mode available.

Save Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time, and not lose progress.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Extensive Complex Reading: Extensive reading required.

Text Visibility

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

High Text Contrast: Text colour contrasts to background.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Mouse Alone: Can play with just the mouse/mouse button/mouse wheel.

One Tap Targeted: Play with touchscreen, tap in specific locations.

Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons not required or can be turned off or switched to toggling the action on and off.

Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events.

Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.

Head-Up-Display Visibility

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.

Adjust Head Up Display: Remove or resize head-up display to remove distraction and make more visible.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well

System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: Andy Robertson


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Games Like Penrose

The following games are like Penrose. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Penrose for younger age ratings.

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