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Big City Laundry Reviews
Reviewed by Jubell
Writing: The writing was clear and straight-forward. No
frills, but there were interesting descriptions at points that engaged the
senses...if you've ever done laundry. Cold and soapy clothes can only be known
by those who've used inferior washing machines. The dry humor certainly made me
smile where it emerged. Good work
Challenges: Lucky for me I know how to do laundry so the first thing I think about is "Where's my jar of quarters?" I also locked the doors every time I left to go somewhere so if there's a portion where all my stuff gets stolen by Catwoman...I missed it. Seriously though, the challenge reflected to travails of doing laundry when you don't have a washing machine and dryer in your house. So while I wanted to bash my head into a brick wall after the first segment I thought the effort to stay true to the theme was admirable. None of the tasks were hard and there was little GTV, so it was certainly playable.
The World: Aw the world of Big City, freezing cold floors and curry smells at your front door! I thought the world was sparse in parts (especially my apartment. Who am I? Anybody? I noticed I had no books. Which is odd because you know a person is a serial killer if they don't have books in their home. True fact ^_^) But colored in others. The commentary on your Big City neighborhood added a but of life and wit to the game.
Overall: Overall I liked certain things from a reviewers standpoint. In those shoes I think I was...charmed. As a player I would have have wanted to strangle the author by the time I finished...that is IF I continued playing once I realized it was about doing laundry. Had it been about cooking or something I think I would have been a lot more engaged because..recipes you can use beyond a game (Who didn't learn from Cooking Mama?), but laundry practices...nooooo.
Still, its a solid game!
Reviewed by Duncan Bowsman
Big City Laundry is a slice of life story that's
probably familiar to anyone who has ever rented an apartment that did not have
its own washer & dryer. Part of the draw here is that that makes the situation
really easy to empathize with. As a person who has on several occasions not had
the pleasure of my own washer/dryer, this game made me feel a lot of, "I know
exactly what this guy's talking about!" and "That *is* always what happens."
Descriptions tended to be matter-of-fact with a tongue-in-cheek edge and, again,
deja vu inducingly familiar. On that level it all felt very true to its role as
an experiment in interactive non-fiction.
There was one part where the protagonist had some otherwise unimplemented shoes which was a bit weird, though given the parameters of the March Writing Spiel and its encouragement of games as sketches, I don't feel at home bashing the game's implementation. Spending lots of time lovingly developing the player's apartment, etc. would have gone against the "get it done and we can talk about it" spirit of the writing spiel. One curious note was the protagonist's perhaps *over* familiarity with laundry (like being able to recognize the Mountain Breeze scent or whatever it was called) that came off as a little comical.
I did wonder about using "Big City" as a sort of allegorical replacement of a geographical location which could have been very tight, but I'm not really concerned over what is, in the end, just a name. I do get the sense that "Big City" is probably somewhere in the United States, but other than that I can say: Big City could be New York. It could be Los Angeles. It could be Chicago. Or it could be nowhere. It's sort of the AFGNCAAP of American big cities.
I feel this would be a good game to study when experiencing troubles with your apartment's laundromat... it would certainly help me chill out if I could see someone else (even a virtual someone) was going through the same troubles and that I could guide them through it successfully. Heck, this sort of thing happens often enough, I think, that there's an audience for that! And it's short enough that they could play through it before their load finishes in the wash.
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