Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I played sci-fi point and click adventure Technobabylon [official site] toward the tail end of last year, having saved it for a rainy day. My memories of it already seem decades old and that’s due to the quality of the world-building. I feel as if I grew up reading short stories about Trance, the Mindjacker and bone-bombs. That’s partly because Technobabylon knows how to borrow elements of cyberpunk and effectively rework them, but, more simply, it’s down to the quality of the writing.
There’s a tendency to talk about good writing relative to the genre or medium. If I say, “this survival horror shooter has good writing”, you’re probably going to add “for a survival horror shooter” at the end of my statement. It’s implied.
None of that is specific to games. Different standards and expectations apply to comics, films, soap operas, pro wrestling shows and whatever else has been scripted for your pleasure. With all of that in mind, when I say that Technobabyon is well-written, I mean it’s a well-written sci-fi adventure game. But the dialogue and world-building are strong enough to fool my brain into thinking of it as a thing half-novel and half-game, and certainly strong enough to convince me to check out whatever Technocrat Games make next.