Trigger Warning: The video contains a scene which may be disturbing to those who have suffered abuse.
When I finish a series I like to look at small interesting games that I can cover with a single episode. I have had Freshman Year by Nina Freeman on my list for a while now after reading about it on Rock Paper Shotgun.
It is a short vignette about a woman in a US college going out and meeting a friend. It isn’t a complex game, mechanically or narratively. The story it tells is fairly straightforward but it is an experience I am likely to never have, mixed in with some relatively familiar aspects.
There is something that the limited amount of interactivity brings into this story. I was genuinely irritated with Jenna for being late and unresponsive, to the point where I had this gut reaction of “Where were you? If you had been here none of this would have happened.” I think that is a fairly natural response, but one that obviously places the blame in the wrong place. The person at fault here is the aggressor, not Jenna. I am not sure I would have had that reaction if this had been a story or laid out as a comic book.