Eerie Estate Agent
After so many games that let you play as a hero, you might think you're prepared for anything. You're wrong. Can you handle a class so powerful, a job so potent, that Dungeon and Dragons once rejected it on the grounds of it being unfair to every other class and monster in the game? Dare you take up the mantle of... real estate agent?! Choice of Games and Gavin Inglis join forces to deliver Eerie Estate Agent, a text adventure about closing deals and quieting spirits. In an estate agency lorded over by a formidable permed and tweed-suited boss referred to in hushed tones as "The Crocodile", sales are everything, at any cost... especially if you want to stay employed. You've got six months to prove you can generate cash for the company, but when the property you're handed to demonstrate your worth turns out to have some rather otherworldly problems, you'll have to figure out what keeping your job is worth to you.
Unlike other Choice of Games titles, Eerie Estate Agent only has you managing a handful of statistics. You'll want to do your best to stay in the Crocodile's good graces, keep an eye on how cut-throat you're willing to be, and how hard you're working in general. Of course, you'll also need to work on generating cash, and managing how well your personal life manages alongside the demands of your job... after all, all work and no play makes you go something something. However, here the point of the game is less about "winning" and more about playing and choosing the responses and reactions that work for you. How do you deal with a rival coworker? Are you willing to do anything regardless of the consequences to anyone else to close a sale? Do you investigate that strange door to the cellar? Though the game automatically logs and saves your progress for you, you can't save and reload manually, so consider all decisions final and give a little thought to their outcomes before you click.
Eerie Estate Agent is one of those rare text adventures whose breezy, engaging dialogue is so effortlessly glib and chatty it's a little enviable. Despite some genuinely creepy moments, it's funny without ever feeling like it's trying hard to be so, balancing humour both dry and dark. While it lacks a great deal of character customisation, the decision to avoid a lot of stats to worry about is a smart one, since it lets you sink right into it like a good book. In a way, it feels a lot more like a traditional Choose Your Own Adventure novel than you might expect, so chances are you're really going to wish you could save and reload whenever you like just to see where different choices take you.
Of course, how much you see depends on how hands-on you decide to get as an agent, and depending on how you play your cards, Crowther Terrace might have more than one tenant throughout the course of the game with drastically different experiences. Players looking for a more serious narrative or the simulation aspect of other Choice of Games titles might be disappointed, but with a comparatively more light-hearted tone and adventure, Eerie Estate Agent is one of those games you can't help but want to play through in one sitting. There are a lot of different endings to find, and a surprising bit of randomisation to boot. Compulsively playable, cheeky, and charming, Eerie Estate Agent showcases Gavin Inglis's writing talents admirably and delivers a fun and occasionally freaky adventure.