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Be Graham: The Westport Independent Demo

Maddeningly, it won't let me correct that mistake.

The Westport Independent [official site] may well remind you of Lucas Pope’s dystopia-o-deskjob games Papers, Please and The Republia Times, which are fine games to be reminded of.

It’s a game about editing a newspaper in an oppressive state where the government is increasingly trying to censor and control everything. As you edit articles and put issues together, you can fight The Man, support Him, or just put your head down and try to keep your paper running and your staff happy. As you can see for yourself in a new alpha demo.

It works like: each week you have a few articles you can edit, change their tone and how they are received by different readers, or toss out. You might sensationalise headlines about celebrities, strike out lines criticising the government, or highlight how awful The Man is. Editing’s simple: click to change the headline to another preset, and click to strike out paragraphs. Once you’re done, shuffle it off to a writer – who each have their own affiliations and interests. Then arrange the finished articles into a newspaper, choose how to distribute copies between neighbourhoods (who look for different things in a paper), and hope it doesn’t all bite you in the botty.

See, loyalists won’t like you criticising the government, but rebels won’t like you sucking up to The Man either. This can all affect your readership, the subjects of articles, your staff, and your city too.

Developers Double Zero One Zero say this alpha demo is “not even close” to done, but I like where the game’s going. I predict great intrigue.

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Alice O'Connor

News Editor

When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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