A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There isn't an overall message to Gamedec. It's a fictional, futuristic detective story, where you're trying to solve cases and help clients (sometimes, saving lives in the process). But you can threaten suspects, bribe people or even killing characters.
Positive Role Models
The character you create and evolve over time will vary on the player's decisions and preferences. Your job is to satisfy your clients by solving cases and crimes, but you can be noble and honest or resort to "shaking down" people for information, threaten suspects, and even kill people. Therefore, how positive or negative the protagonist is would be tied to your choices. The game has four different personality types, but each is comprised of other variables, such as empathy and logic, and the decisions you make will affect these traits.
In both the character you create and those you interact with, Gamedec offers diverse representations in gender, sexual orientation, skin color, race, and body type. There are no negative stereotypes in these characters.
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Ease of Play
The game has simple controls that are easy to learn. It's a very dialog-heavy game and a point-and-click adventure, so quick reflexes aren't needed. It can be challenging at times, though, if you don't choose the right approach when interrogating someone.
Violence & Scariness
There's virtually no combat in Gamedec, as it's much more about exploration and dialog. That said, there are some scenes of death -- you can kill or be killed, the latter of which means respawning just before that incident. There's also mentions of death in dialog sequences, such as trying to deduce if someone is guilty of murder.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
While there's no nudity, Gamedec has several references to sex, strippers, and prostitution. A lot of the dialog is about sex, heavy flirting, and comments about breasts. Some of the names of the virtual game worlds inside of Gamedec are Twisted and Perverted (where people get high on drugs and seek sex), Necro Fun, and Pain Love. You are told to f--k some more to enter an area. A unicorn talks about sex. In another instance, you're tied up in an alley by a dominatrix.
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Gamedec has very strong profanity, which includes multiple instances and variations of the F-word. Right from the start, dialog includes "leave him the f--k alone," "what the f--k are you doing over there," "I'm f--king warning you," and "you insolent piece of s--t," to name just a few examples.
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Products & Purchases
Gamedec is based on a collection of short stories by Polish science-fiction author Marcin Przybyłek.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There are several scenes and dialog references to drugs and alcohol. There are comments like "booze is for the old or pool...Fredo and I have better stuff" and "my mom added cocaine to the cake instead of baking powder."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gamedec is a downloadable role-playing game for Windows PCs. It's based on a collection of short stories by Polish science-fiction author Marcin Przybyłek. The game includes several references to sex and prostitution (though there's no nudity in the game), murder, drugs, and alcohol. While there's virtually no combat, there are scenes of death and mentions of murder in the dialogue. At one point in the game, you need to find out how to enter a theater and when denied, a message says "Your level is too low to unlock this location. Try f--king and killing more to raise your Ecstasy Points!" You may also be tied up by a dominatrix in an alley way. There's regular use of very strong profanity in this game as well.
Is It Any Good?
While the RPG dishes up an intriguing concept, and the decisions you make will change the story, boring characters and decisions saps all of the fun out of this tale. Gamedec has a lot of worlds that offer variety, and it's great that there's no combat to be found. But it doesn't take long for the shine of this game to wear thin, after interacting with non-memorable clients (and characters you're sent to talk to). You don't care about any of these people, which really zaps your motivation. Trying to crack the case and make your progress bar inch towards success might be gratifying enough for some players, plus unlocking new abilities and dialog tree options is smart, but it's just not that engaging. What's more, while you're ask to spend time customizing your Gamedec's abilities, spread out over different personality types, the responses seem arbitrarily assigned, or unrelated to the chat, At other times, there are bad typos in the conversations, but English may not be the developers' native tongue.
There were some Polish words in the Codex, too, perhaps not translated to English yet. In short, for a game not to have combat, the dialog sequences have to be extraordinary. Unfortunately, this isn't case here. You'll refer often to the game's Codex, which includes all the characters and relationships, locations and conversations, and more, but it's very laborious to sift through. Gamedec can be fun, with its smart deduction engine, and you feel good when you've successfully interrogated someone or better yet, solved a crime. Plus, some of the interactions are time based, which adds some extra drama to them. Also, the set pieces are impressive, as is the musical score. But the tedious dialog choices and unimaginative characters will disappoint. It's too bad, as the story is interesting and the adaptive nature of your choices is ambitious to say the least, but Gamedec ultimately doesn't completely hit its mark.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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