Curfew

Curfew is a point-and-click adventure game from Channel 4 and written by Kieron Gillen, formerly of Rock Paper Shotgun and currently a writer for Marvel Comics. It’s set in a near-future dystopian Britain where an authoritarian security-focused party called the Shepard Party has come to power. They have implemented several sweeping changes to British society in the name of security, such as separating citizens into “Class A” and “Class B” citizens based on Citizenship Points, and invoking a mandatory curfew London-wide.

As the game starts, you are given a piece of information on a metal cylinder and told to get to a safehouse and find someone who you can trust to give it to. You will be arrested soon, and if that data is on you, it’s lost. In the safehouse there are 4 people milling around, dodging the curfew like yourself. You start up conversations with each one of them, and through a series of question-and-answer sessions and interactive flashbacks, you gain their trust and decide for yourself if they’re trustworthy. The goal of the game is to find someone whom you can trust to get the data out, considering your impending arrest.

The graphics are a mix of CG rendering and live actors, which works surprisingly well. The acting is done very well for a free Flash video game. It definitely seems that there was a budget and the actors are professionals, which puts it leaps and bounds above many of the FMV atrocities of the mid ‘90s. The story is engaging and really helps bring these characters to life. So far there’s plenty of detail hidden in the background if you dig into it. There’s even several seemingly inane adventure game tropes that turn out to be very revealing.

The game is about exploring this future, dystopian Britain, and in that it shines. As a piece of science fiction, it’s top notch. It’s also a pretty solid adventure game, to boot.

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Comments

minor nitpick, but "Channel 4", is not related to BBC4, it's a different company. They have (had? it might have been cut, I can't remember*) a budget set aside for interactive educational games/experiences of which Curfew was a part.

*actually it still must be kicking about, they have a whole ton of stuff going on.

Thanks for the alert, looks good (but I'm stuck already - no doubt it will turn to be something obvious).

But just to say ... the game is from Channel 4 which is not part of the BBC (and is thus different to BBC 4 the TV station, as opposed to BBC 4 the radio station). Over here in the UK we already like to keep things confusing for the populace if at all possible ...

stevenmack wrote:

minor nitpick, but "Channel 4", is not related to BBC4, it's a different company. They have (had? it might have been cut, I can't remember*) a budget set aside for interactive educational games/experiences of which Curfew was a part.

*actually it still must be kicking about, they have a whole ton of stuff going on.

Corrected.

CURFEW!

Curfew just began 2 seconds ago.
Curfew just began 4 seconds ago.
...

Ooh, looks right up my alley. I hope to dive into this sometime this weekend if either of my children ever decide they want to sleep again.

Wrex: Shepard (party).

Nice find, Pyro. It pulled me right in and I played all the way through this morning. I highly recommend it.

It's a neat game. That said, I find it's authoritorianism a bit outdated. The kind of top-down, Orwellian control was a fear of the 40's that continued through the mid twentieth century. I feel like Children of Men's model, which was a lot more about letting the wrong people rule through apathy and fear, is far more relevant. Personally, I'm more concerned about a government that ignores the rights of individuals in order to further the interests of the "right kind" of people (people with money, connections, power, etc.)

I really loved the way the air tags worked. Seeing them in this game makes me wonder why we don't have a more developed air tag system in real life.

So as an adventure game, I really like it a lot. As a political statement, it felt like the video Cliff's notes for people who never read 1984.

I voted for the FemShep Party.