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Supposedly Wonderful Future Review

Supposedly Wonderful Future Review

Travel a scant 30 years into the future after you’re recruited to work on a “special project” and discover a “beautiful, complicated mess”

 

Category: Review
Written by: Karla Munger on 07/13/18
Genre: Sci-Fi/Point-and-Click/RPG/Visual Novel
Release date: April 18, 2018
Developer: Dmitry Zagumennov
Publisher: Dmitry Zagumennov
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

 

I’ve always found time travel to be a heady and fascinating subject. Lurking within it is the infamous time paradox which, if a person were to think about it long enough, could cause permanent brain damage. Well okay, maybe not…but it can sure mess with a person’s head. Welcome to Supposedly Wonderful Future, which is waiting to gently nudge you forward a mere 30 years hence, to the year 2048. Are you up for it?

I Came to Play a Game and Stayed to Read a Novel

Developer Dmitry Zagumennov (may I call you Dmitry?) has crafted this entire game on his own with the Unity engine. It’s taken him four years on a zero budget. That’s what I call dedication.

He has described Supposedly Wonderful Future as “a story-focused experience that plays like a point-and-click adventure, reads like an RPG, and feels like a visual novel.” I found the emphasis to be on the visual novel aspect.

According to Writer’s Digest, an excellent range for sci-fi/fantasy novels is 100,000 – 115,000 words (although this is not etched in stone). Supposedly Wonderful Future has approximately 125,000 words. That’s a lot of words. Fortunately, I love to read.

Those who don’t love to read may skip over portions of text without hindering the game’s progress. I don’t recommend it, however, as doing so will diminish the depth of the narrative.

I’ve always enjoyed writing as well, but I can’t imagine writing something as lengthy and intricate as the text in Supposedly Wonderful Future. I consider it quite an accomplishment. There are some grammatical errors, but nothing serious enough to present a problem understanding what’s being said. As far as I’m concerned, it could actually be a novel.

What interests me most is the content Dmitry has written. He has quite an imagination and takes the player through branching dialogue that covers relatively complex concepts, and ties everything together quite skillfully. This couldn’t have been easy.

I don’t consider Supposedly Wonderful Future to be a game in the conventional sense. It has neither puzzles, nor inventory, nor physical exploration. Its goals are non-specific. It takes place in a handful of locations. There’s little action; the game’s nature is primarily cerebral.

For the most part, you talk to people and provide “solutions” to the particular state of affairs in which they find themselves. Although there has been progress in solving the world’s problems, there is much left to do. You are there to provide an “outsider’s perspective” regarding problems that have yet to be solved.

Mechanics

The game’s controls are extremely simple. Along with clicking on your chosen dialogue responses, you can press the letter H to highlight all hotspots, and N to discover what to select in order to advance the narrative.

A graphic at the upper RH side of the screen yields a Menu that offers Continue, Save, Load, Settings, Main Menu and Exit Game. Saves are user-initiated (thank you, Dmitry), and there are 100 save slots. Available options include the ability to adjust both text size and dialogue layout.

I’d say that it’s impossible to get lost or stuck in Supposedly Wonderful Future. Its structure precludes this kind of occurrence.

Presentation

Supposedly Wonderful Future is played from a first-person perspective. Characters are primarily static figures whose mouths don’t move when they talk (in fact, no other body parts move much either). There is no spoken dialogue.

Interestingly, some of the game’s background items do move. For instance, in the initial setting (your character’s office), a wall clock reflects the passage of minutes in real time, and you can see traffic move in the street far below one of the office’s windows.

Also, some amusing interactive items are located on the wall that bears the clock, if you’d care to check them out. There are other such objects in other locations. It’s not necessary to interact with them, although I suggest you do so. I think they add to the story, and some might make you laugh.

The artwork is pleasing and well-done. For the most part, the music is quite nice, although I found it to be repetitive in spots. Its volume level, as well as that of the game’s sounds, can be adjusted.

The game is presented in a Prologue and Five Chapters. Each chapter represents a single day.

All I Wanted Was a Typical Day at the Office

Player-character Michael D. Morton is a man in his late 20s who owns a small software company. In the Prologue, you’re visited by a woman named Jackie who asks to speak with you concerning a job offer that has nothing to do with software.

She makes some claims that seem outlandish, not the least of which is that she’s from 30 years in the future. It’s a future in which, among other things, there are no global tensions; economic inequality has been all but eliminated; poverty is rare and a high school education is available to anyone who wants it. And oh, yeah: aging can be stopped — if you have the money. That’s a lot of progress for 30 years.

Jackie wants you to accompany her to 2048 to work on a special project. She tells you that you’re the first of many who will be recruited for such an activity, which she calls a “field test.” As a reward, you’ll be permitted to stay in the future if you so choose. If not, you’ll be returned to 2018. So she says.

She and her employer, a mega-tech corporation called Life+, want you to bring an outsider’s perspective to five different scenarios. Despite the relatively rosy picture of 2048 Jackie has painted, these scenarios represent issues that have yet to be solved.

Jackie answers some of your questions evasively (Q: “Why did you pick me?” A: “Because we want you to join us.”) Some of her answers aren’t exactly truthful. Some of her logic is a little flawed. And she’s quite adept at explaining why, if you go with her, the time paradox won’t come into play. This explanation may be valid…or not.

You’re skeptical at first, but Jackie manipulates you into accepting her offer. (Besides, if you don’t agree to go with her, there’s no more game.) Then off you go into the first of five chapters, 30 years in the future.

Welcome to 2048…and its Problems

I found Chapter One — titled Dimly Lit House — to be the most vivid. It deals with an affliction experienced by a member of my immediate family, so I suppose it hit harder than it might have otherwise. Still, it’s well-written and concise, and it would have had an impact on me even if I hadn’t related to it personally.

Now, Chapter Two…Chapter Two. A very l-o-n-g chapter, with more text than any of the others. Subject matter? Cyberbullying. I was to listen to the victim’s story, then question five suspects and name the party I considered to be guilty.

I’ll admit that I probably took this chapter more seriously than I should have. Well, at first, anyway. I set out to be thorough. I made lots of notes. I gave much thought to everything I learned. I wanted to be as certain as possible that the person I chose was really guilty.

But as the chapter wore on (and on), I became more concerned with just getting to the end of it. By then — and I hate to admit this — I didn’t much care who was guilty. I made my best guess and picked someone. I was then thanked for my participation and sent on my way. I was given no feedback concerning my choice.

Fortunately, Chapters Three, Four and Five are of reasonable length. They are also difficult to describe without venturing into spoiler territory.

Chapter Three is bizarre. It’s called Elevator Experiment. And that’s all I’m going to say about it.

Chapter Four, called 1440 Minutes, centers on an issue that represents an actual concern of mine in 2018. The game takes it to an extreme that I find both fascinating and horrifying. Some might find this chapter somewhat lengthy, but I feel the length is justified in order to present the situation in an impactful way.

I won’t be saying anything specific about Chapter Five except that it’s called Black Hole. It’s the shortest (and final) chapter.

This game’s narrative is skillfully written. Parts of it could sound completely ridiculous if it weren’t written with such intelligence.

I wasn’t expecting the game to end the way it does. It never even crossed my mind. To say that I was taken aback would be an understatement. It’s definitely not one of those “happily ever after” endings.

In Conclusion…

For the most part, I enjoyed Supposedly Wonderful Future. I found the narrative quite unique; and even though some of it’s far-fetched, it’s written in a way that makes it seem almost feasible. It certainly gave me food for thought.

Grade: B+

+ Simple controls
+ Useful UI options; user-initiated saves
+ Intriguing and skillfully-written narrative
+ Unexpected ending
The length of Chapter Two tends to interfere with the flow of the game
Those who don’t enjoy reading will likely be put off by the amount of text
Players wanting action should look elsewhere
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Trailer:

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows 7 32-bit
Processor: 2GHz with SSE2 support
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
Direct X: Version 9.0
Storage: 1300 MB available space

 

MINIMUM Mac:
OS: OS X 10.7 Lion or newer
Processor: 2GHz with SSE2 support
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
Storage: 1300 MB available space

 

MINIMUM Linux:
OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or newer
Processor: 2GHz with SSE2 support
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
Storage: 1300 MB available space
Karla Munger

Karla Munger

I've been with JA in one capacity or other since 2003. I'm currently website administrator. I'm also a digital artist (my avatar is one of my creations). I write reviews and articles, create graphics and basically help tend the site. It's work I enjoy very much. I love playing games of all kinds, but adventure and RPGs are my favorites (particularly scary/dark/unsettling ones). At the top of my list are The Cat Lady, The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Still Life (first one only) and Culpa Innata. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool recluse and prefer the company of animals and hardware to human beings (no offense). And no bio would be complete without my saying that I do NOT care for phones of ANY sort. Further, I think Dell computers are garbage and that Microsoft has become megalomaniacal. "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." - Vincent Van Gogh "I need solitude for my writing; not like a hermit - that wouldn't be enough - but like a dead man." - Franz Kafka

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