Review – Academic Pursuits

The blurb describes this as a move-in simulator, and that’s exactly what it is, or for full disclosure, it is a single-room paranormal move-in simulator. As is the case in approximately fifty percent of interactive fiction, give or take, the protagonist is a new university faculty member (the remainder being knights, wizards or detectives: the unholy triumvirate).

Most of the game — in a sense all of the game — consists of unpacking moving boxes and I will admit that at first I thought this was going to be a very tedious and possibly fiddly puzzle of fitting objects of different sizes into containers of various capacities, but from the point of opening the first box, there are suggestions that there is more to this story.

As you dig through the boxes, the backstory fills in. There is literally a lot to unpack here. The player does not have any real agency and the overall story is on rails, but the player is still engaged because each choice requires some deliberation taking into context the player’s evolving state of knowledge right up to the end. The task is a bit mundane, but I thought the payoff was worth it; it is, after all, a pretty short, and I would say entertaining, game.

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