How the intro of SUBSURFACE CIRCULAR is part of it's storytelling.
In my new video series PLAY THIS, I highlight overlooked games and the reasons why I think you should play them! Today I wanna talk about SUBSURFACE CIRCULAR, a text based adventure game that uses it's intro to subtlety jump-start its storytelling.
If you rather read than watch a video, you can find the clip in article form below.
In Subsurface Circular, you play a robot detective looking for answers while being stuck on the subway. Your only course of action is talking to other riders. This is basically the games only game play mechanic.
The actual story of Subsurface Circular actually starts before it's first line of text, in the excellent directed title sequence. The credits shows the games robot-characters in very un-robot like situations and poses. Most of them seem rather human.
Without knowing the context you can still recognize scenes of emotion due to posing. Anger, betrayal, fear, doubt, love and care. Right at the start the game tells the player that these machines are rather human - or at least capable of emotions. So when you are finally given the first line of dialogue after the intro, you are already in a different state on how you will interact with the techs you meet on the subway.