Bigger brother: Orwell continuing in second season

We’ll soon get to slip on the jackboots of The Man again in a second series of interesting episodic big brotherer Orwell, developers Osmotic Studios announced today. While the first season gave us control of a digital surveillance system to investigate suspected terrorists, Orwell: Ignorance Is Strength [official site] will put us in charge of a bigger question: who decides what even is true, and what’s truth worth?

Today’s announcement explains the premise:

“Inspired by the rise of fake news, the social media echo chamber and the death of “truth”–Orwell: Ignorance is Strength places the player in the shoes of a government official in a top-secret department of the Orwell program. A political crisis has arisen across borders, threatening to plunge The Nation and Parges into violent civil unrest.

“Given the power to both uncover and fabricate “the truth”, the player must decide for themselves how far they will go in the service of their country and whether the truth is sacred or ignorance is strength.”

Orwell: Ignorance Is Strength is due to start “soon”, coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux as a series of weekly episodes. That’s a nice frequency for a small episodic game.

The first season, subtitled Keeping an Eye on You, was pretty good stuff. Our John had some reservations but, as he said his Orwell review, he got quite into it:

“I started collating, worrying, suspecting, excepting, making wrong guesses about where it was all going (one of which would have been an excellent alternative ending, if I do say so myself), and then piecing together the truth of the matter. It became apparent as I played that I could have a significant impact – so much so that I felt compelled to start the game again as soon as it finished to share information differently, to see what else might happen, and wanting to start a game again as soon as it’s over is a pretty good sign.”

If you missed the first one, you might fancy trying the first episode as it’s up as a free demo on Steam.


  1. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    I’m 100% on board for this. Orwell was one of my favorites of last year.

    There’s been a glut of “UI-’em-ups” over the last couple years, and very few of them live up to the cleverness they promise. Orwell is one that stuck the landing- managing to create fully realized settings, characters and plots with a healthy amount of deductive reasoning and that precious choice and consequence.

    • caff says:

      It is a clever and innovative game, but I had two main gripes with it.

      1) The choice of what they termed “terrorists” seemed so innocent. I can understand wanting to avoid racial offence or gender bias, but they played it so safe it felt like a student’s university project.

      2) The pace of the game in its early stages is tedious. So much reading, it put me off.

      I can see the good points but I won’t be returning to season 1 or 2. But… It’s nice they have a demo because people should try it.

      • Premium User Badge

        subdog says:

        I’m not sure I follow your first point.

        • Asokn says:

          I *think* he’s saying that they should have made the terrorist characters Asian Muslim men…

          • Premium User Badge

            subdog says:

            I generally agree with Caff on a lot of things here, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s not saying something along those lines.

          • ashleys_ears says:

            It certainly sounded like a complaint about an absence of racial/religious stereotypes to me.

  2. Don Reba says:

    A Trump’em up.