Literature and games don’t have to be exclusive, as The Secret Games Company‘s open-world RPG Kim illustrates.
Based on the historical novel by Rudyard Kipling, the game tells the story of Irish orphan Kim who tries to survive and find social as well as spiritual growth in 1880s India. The player can decide how his youth turns out to be in choose-your-own-adventure style dialogues, stealth and combat scenes, so it’s as much a genre mix simulation as a book adaptation with the author’s writing seen and heard in voiced narration and character speech.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what the gameplay is exactly, as there are so many elements like collecting food and items for survival, talking to people and completing quests for earning reputation, fame, and money as well as fighting against animal wildlife and other more human dangers, even involving some espionage. Traveling through India and getting to know all the places with people’s stories is a great way to experience this exotic country, while the decisions changing the course of the story as well as the procedurally-generated levels add to longevity.
Furthermore, the lovely hand-drawn backgrounds and great music enhance the atmosphere, although the indie Early Access roots don’t make it the most impressive-looking game. However, if you’re looking for something different and thought-provoking and you’ve always wondered what it would be like to play a novel with your own decisions making a difference, then this should come as a recommendation.
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