Where do you go in Go North, but forward

gd go north impressions overall

I’ve never been good at or immensely interested in text-based games. I mean, I didn’t even find the text-based computer game Reign of Grelok in Fallout 3, which paid homage to 1980s classics of the same style, like Zork and Planetfall–and I scoured nearly every inch of that game’s post-apocalyptic world for far too many hours. I also gave up on Frog Fractions once it stopped being about diving deeper into the ocean on that numbers-munching dragon and more about navigating yourself out of some small, cramped hatch.

And so, with that history behind me, I went into Go North not really expecting much, hoping to just stay interested and get through it. Well, I certainly got through it, but I’m not sure what the point was. In fact, I came away from this stroll forward from…um, I guess Jim Spanos and friends, feeling like it was mocking either itself or the genre greatly. It ends with a seemingly inside-joke, which might be hilarious to the creators, but fell flat with me, the player.

But what is this game, you ask as we get to the third paragraph? Here’s some descriptive text I myself didn’t write, but rather found on Go North‘s GameJolt page. See if you can grok it:

You know, sometimes, hope is needed in humanity to brace the terrible and the enchanted. To engulf our hearts with embers of the night, as we flow like lava under the moonlit skydome. Are we not men? In our minds, we are. Are we not soldiers? In our minds we are. And bewildered you stand if only to enjoy each other’s mindsets. But without further ado, the perception of the single, greatest, mind-changing game is here.

Poetic, frivolous, forever fallen into the hands of few

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s a text-driven game where you type “go north” to advance to the next screen. I tried typing “go east” and “go west” every few screens to no avail. You do this until the last screen, where the twist/inside-joke plays out. All the narration is overdramatically voiced over by someone either trying too hard or not trying hard enough–regardless, it’s a struggle to listen to.

Let’s chalk Go North up to both not my thing and not made for me to appreciate. Perhaps one day I’ll find a text-based adventure game worth my while, but for now, I’m off in another direction-most likely south–to play something else.

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