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Playing God

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Hey guys, thought you might like to know about this game I recently downloaded. I found it on an old website for games that kind of "flunked" at release. It contained everything from late 90's FPS games anywhere up to 2007. I was browsing through when I saw a section listed as "RPG & SIMULATION".

I'm kind of a sucker for this kind of game so I had a look around. The games were listed in columns, big blocks of text that made my eyes blur when I attempted to look through them. There was one game however, that was not in a column. It was standing solitary at the top of the page overshadowed by ads.

The game was called "Simulation: Star Sign". When I clicked on it, there were quite a lot of comments in the discussion page. Most people were just talking about how to install and download. A few however, mentioned how bad the ending was.

Not really bothered about spoilers I searched for the ending on Google. It took me through about three to four pages before I found something worth reading. It was a review website for underappreciated games. I skipped most of the info but one thing caught my eye. It said:

"Don't get too familiar with your characters, they don't last long."

This was hidden under a spoiler banner.

So I found the page I was on before and downloaded it. It started up fine, which I really wasn't expecting from such an old site. The game had a ReadMe file with some basic info about the developer and estimated sales. The graphics were pretty decent for 2004 (at least that's when the copyright was taken out).

It looked a little like "The Sims", but it was a centered third person camera rather than a bird's-eye view. The first thing I saw was a long bar with green filling at the bottom of the screen. There was no character creation or any choosing of stats or traits, I was simply spawned into this park near a busy road. It took me a while to get going, but I eventually figured out the basic controls and had got a good setup in a small apartment on the east side of the map.

A small icon popped up above my character's head showing a picture of a knife and fork. I assumed it was a sign that I had to eat, so I went over to the oven and began cooking a dish. It didn't say what, all that was shown was the icon "Make Dinner". This was not simply a case of my character putting some dish into the oven, however.

He began cluttering through drawers and cupboards to find all the equipment he needed. This was when things got a little odd. It appeared as though my character couldn't find something. He began rummaging through the drawers getting more and more frustrated.

This carried on to a terrifying extent. He began pulling out drawers from the units and chucking them across the room, sending things flying across the floor. This was when the little green bar at the bottom of the screen started to do something. A small part of it began to scratch away like a scratch card lottery ticket.

It revealed the letters, "I ca-" that's all that could be seen. My character looked up quickly and smacked his head on an overhead cupboard. Shouting out loud profanities in this Sim-like language. More of the bar began to scratch away.

It now read, "I can't de-". The screen then faded to black. When it faded back in again my character was lying on the floor, eying up a kitchen knife on the floor. I now knew why the game was banned, but it was interesting so I think I'll continue now, I've currently got it windowed as I write this.

Okay, so a couple of hours have passed and this is just getting creepy. My character is just continuing to fail at day-to-day tasks, and is getting more and more frustrated as he does so. The bar has now revealed the words "I can't deal with this sh-". There is hardly any of the green bar left.

But my character seems to be calming down now. Another bubble has just popped up above him. This looks like an animation. It looks like he's falling through the air.

He just passed from trees to tree trunks and before the ground became visible the bubble disappeared. The kitchen is still a mess, apart from the knife. He picked that up and put it back in a safe place.

It has a gleaming light surrounding it, not sure what it means. I have to say, I'm a little shocked by the game, but the world is getting more and more detailed. This guy is looking at his computer right now. His face keeps changing, he keeps switching hair colour, race, gender.

I guess it must be a bug. Everything is so detailed right now. I'm beginning to see what it says on the screen, but it's still a bit of an orange coloured blur. I can see it now.

What he... she, my character is reading. Go now... somewhere safe.

Lock yourself in if you can. A timer has appeared... it's counting down and the knife logo has appeared again. I'm sorry.

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