In all but the most heavily scripted games, the player is to some extent a storyteller. Every time you pull off a daringly anarchic heist in Grand Theft Auto, or finish a fashion shoot in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, or win a chess match when you're down to your last few pieces, you've created an experience that no one else will have in exactly the same way.
Elegy for a Dead World takes this quite literally. It was prototyped in 2013 as an experiment by members of Popcannibal and Dejobaan Games, the latter known for the AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! series of BASE jumping titles. But there's nothing pulse-pounding about Elegy: it's a collaborative world-building exercise where you "play" the game by writing it yourself, using text prompts and the details of abandoned alien landscapes named after Romantic poets.
I could talk at length about how different tools affect the way we communicate (and even think.) But instead of simply expounding upon it in this text box, I decided to find out what it's like to write a review inside Elegy for a Dead World itself. The results are below.
Elegy for a Dead World is available today for Mac, PC, and Linux. It costs $14.99.