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The Generation Game: Breeder

Jimmy doesn't exist in this timeline

Breeder is a creepy adventure game in which you play the part of curious children across three generations of an unusual family. Something’s not quite right in the Carr household and you’ll need to switch between the 1951, 1987 and 2020 to explore all of the secrets hidden beneath the floorboards, behind the broken facades of adults and between the ones and the zeroes of the code. The three little tykes you control can examine any object in the world and can interact with some, but that’s all. No inventories, no combat, just looking and learning. You can play for free or pick your own price.

I haven’t actually finished the game but I really want to know how it ends. Even though there’s only a single location (I think) with several alterations across and within the different timeframes, moving across the house and examining everything is slow. So slow, in fact, that I found myself wishing Breeder was a Twine game, so I could just type in the name of a room and be there rather than wandering back and forth. Some of the glitchy graphical effects might be lost – although they might work just as well as static background images – but Breeder’s strength is in its text.

There are echoes of Michael Lutz’ interactive fiction, particularly The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo, and there’s a hint of Coraline as well in the warping of domestic space and family confusions.

I don’t know if I’d prefer an ending that explains what the hell it’s all about or one that’s teasingly ambiguous, but I’ve enjoyed my investigations so far. If anyone manages to solve the ‘Other’ room, which I’m fairly sure I understand but can’t seem to get right, do let me know. I’m intrigued.

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Adam Smith

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