Developer TLR Games, Patrones & Escondites • Publisher Patrones & Escondites • Release March 14, 2023 • Played On PC
If I trust the estimated playthrough time, I’m about a third of the way through Delete After Reading. And while it’s had the audacity to make me do math, the genre-defying title has captured my attention so far. Combining elements of old-school text adventures, visual novels, flash games, and puzzle titles, this experience is unlike anything else.
My electronic journal tells me this has been, without a doubt, the worst day of my life. With understandable complaints about eating cauliflower and landing the part of a tree in the school play, it’s clear the game’s subject matter treads in the realm of light humor. The journaling structure allows for a multi-faceted experience that, while reading-heavy, brims with ever-changing gameplay.
I couldn’t help but crack a smile when the words hinted I would need to push a piece of furniture at least five times to make it budge, and then expected me to click the word “push” five times to continue my quest. I also appreciated when the game broke up reading long passages with a bit of action, like trying to throw a crumpled paper into a trash bin.
What struck me most in my play time was how intricate and demanding the puzzles were. This first big test involved multiple pieces of information throughout the entry which I had to weave together. This required a notebook, and I suggest anyone attempting to solve the game’s riddles keep one close.
The out-of-the-box thinking didn’t stop at puzzles. My surreal mission and the characters tied into it are unusual, to say the least. Though a hundred-year-old ghost in a child’s body or an uncaring personification of Destiny may seem outlandish, they suit the title’s quirky, pop-culture-laden tone.
I’m not quick to trust assurances about Delete After Reading‘s short length, judging from the amount of time it’s taken me to unlock its secrets so far. However, I have no doubt it would fill a free weekend with zany antics and mind-bending puzzles.
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