Once upon a time there was a lonely little girl. The story that follows those words is at the heart of Imaginary Friends created by Mannytsu. Sometimes poignant, at other times tense and a bit shocking the player follows the internal struggle of a friendless 13-year-old girl.
Hailey has closed herself off. At last she begins a journey that will take her out of her own personal world and into her past so that she can better see her future. The story itself is captivating and at times challenging. There are several endings so the choices made throughout the game lead to different results at the end.
The outcome of the game is primarily determined by the text-based story but rather than simply clicking through dialog the player moves through pixel style scenes. There is a sense of movement, of being part of the story as tasks are completed and puzzles are solved. The gameplay is interspersed with brightly drawn illustrations that help to make the characters more human and relatable.
Mannytsu has made a game that examines loneliness and loss, looking at them from many angles. Perhaps a few of the conclusions may be a bit trite, still the questions themselves are thought provoking.
This is a download game and since it's rather long it may take a bit for it to complete. Once loaded navigation is easy, the game is controlled from the keyboard so the menu and item/inventory list are available with one key. The save game function is a little innovative--it's built into the game.
Be prepared to take some time on this one even if you aren't looking for the alternate endings. Overall, this is fun and at times frustrating (in a good way.)
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