Console-Tation: Short games with optimistic sci-fi narratives – SYFY WIRE

Contributed by

Oct 23, 2020, 3:45 PM EDT (Updated)

Hello everyone, and welcome to Console-Tation, a feature series on SYFY FANGRRLS where we help you find your next favorite video game — one you might not have heard of, but are going to love.

I’m your host and SYFY FANGRRLS resident gaming expert, Laura Dale. I’ve worked as a full-time video game critic for the past five years, and it’s my job to help readers like you discover that next game that’s going to be exactly your jam.

Our recommendations are not just based on your taste in games. Tell us what movies you love, what book genres you’re wild for, maybe even what music you like. Paint us a wide picture of your interests, and we will try and find a game tailor-made to your tastes.

Do you want help finding that next game that’s perfect for you? Well, we have a form you can fill out here. If you’re selected, you might get your next game recommendation, courtesy of Console-Tation.

Our email this week comes from Daisy, a SYFY FANGRRLS reader who’s looking for something short and story-based.

Dear Console-Tation,

I need help expanding my horizons a bit. I play a lot of different things, but I tend to end up sinking time into open-ended system-driven games like Disgaea, Grim Dawn, Warframe, Stardew Valley, etc.

The thing is, the games that have really stuck with me in the last few years have been so much more narrative- or character-focused, but I’m really out of my depth looking for those kinds of recommendations. Some fantastic games do pop up on the radar like Heaven’s Vault or Disco Elysium, but I wouldn’t even know where to look for good visual novels or the like.

I don’t usually go for high fantasy, but I do l love some science fiction, especially stuff that plays with a sense of mystery or ambiguity – and I can appreciate a sad ending, but would prefer something at least a little bit positive. In games, I find turn-based RPG combat a bit tedious, and I have a bad habit of not finishing games, so a good ending to a challenging 80-hour game is going to be wasted on me.

In short, I’d like something with a real focus on well-written characters or story – do you have anything that will suit me?

Daisy (she/her)

Systems of choice: Switch or PC preferred, but has access to PS4 or Mobile too.

Cost: Preferably on sale.

The key things that stood out to me were:

  • Narrative-heavy adventures
  • Interested in visual novels
  • Enjoys mysteries, ambiguity, and science fiction
  • Endings that are not totally sad and depressing
  • Fairly short length games

I thought of three recommendations for Daisy.