Adventure Jam 2020: Point Of No Return

“Point Of No Return” by Alex ShawHugo Passarinho & Ben Greensmith.

“[You have] just awoken from stasis. Protocol states that you must complete reorientation tests. Your ship’s [artificial intelligence] must determine if the long sleep has had any physiological or psychological impact. Answer honestly. Answer carefully. […] [A] short narrative experience […] that is just as much an album as it is a game.”

Your mission in space went a bit off, so the ship’s intelligent buddy system PaL has to check up on you after your stasis. While you seem to be physically more or less fit, PaL decides to ask you questions for some kind of ‘personality test’. There are no wrong or right answers, so just agree or disagree as strongly as you wish. Afterwards, a couple of medical care units will be administered to you. That is the point of where everything goes wrong, your personal “Point Of No Return”.

Too many of these units now find their way into your body, putting you into another temporary ‘dormancy’. But these dreams you are having are trying to tell you something. Are these messages a result of your subconscious mind or a byeffect of the overmedication? Or is it possible that someone actively tries to tell you something? That is what you will find out for yourself if you play “Point Of No Return”, one of the most mysterious entries of this year’s Adventure Jam.

I find it utterly fascinating how so many narrative threads in different forms – like the dialogues with PaL, log entries, but also the questions of the personality test – did not only get created, but also completely weaved together in the end. Small details, which do not seem to be of any importance at first glance, turn out to be forerunners of the truth that eventually gets revealed. In that sense, the description of “Point Of No Return”, that it “is just as much an album as it is a game” is true; not only on a musical level, but also in the meaning of storytelling.

A couple of songs of the same musicians do not automatically make an album. It is essential that they are also connected with each other by something, like a main motif, a concept or even the intention of creating a specific kind of atmosphere – songs have to be composed to form an album. That is what “Point Of No Return” achieved in a skillful manner, as each little text, each image and each decision come together in the end. [PLAY]