I don't really 'get' this game, but I like it

My pal Cameron Kunzelman made this game called Epanalepsis, where three different characters 20 years apart walk around and talk about the things they see. I'm not sure I understand it, but I'm experiencing such excellent dissonance between what the game seems to be and what it says it is that I almost love it more.

When Cameron was funding the game on Kickstarter he asked if I would be the '90s consultant'. As much as I wish '90s consultant' was a real job for which I could get paid, it is not, and my 'work' consisted of sending him a relatively-short but enthusiastic email about floral border paper (remember?!), Fruitopia and those ridiculous mushroom candles everyone had.

There is definitely border paper on the walls during Epanalepsis' first bit, the bit that's set in the 90s, so if you believe my satisfaction at having made this contribution disqualifies me from having an opinion on the game, feel free to go ahead and do something else with your life.


I googled the word "epanalepsis" and found out it means "a figure of speech defined by the repetition of the initial word (or words) of a clause or sentence at the end of that same clause or sentence. I'm with John Walker of Rock Paper Shotgun in that I'm not sure how the word relates to the experience or underlying message (if any) of the game.

I really dislike all the characters (the 90s protagonist, Rachel, is offended that her parents sold their 'winter home' without consulting her and now lives in an apartment they pay for), but there is something almost fascinatingly existential about being them, walking around their spaces with agonizing slowness, reading what is often rather delightful prose about the stuff on the screen. Out of the corner of my eye in recent months I saw Epanalepsis marketed as a "cyberpunk adventure", which I think it's definitely not, and as a "game about time", which, like, isn't everything about time, man?

Maybe you can blame my border paper bias, but I really like this game anyway. It feels defiant, that kind of opacity, and I really want to know what the rest of you make of it. You can get it on Steam for a few bucks.