“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
What are The Sacrifices?
The Sacrifices was originally intended to be a series of 7 short, experimental narrative experiences. Following the positive reception of the first instalment, The Night Fisherman, which released at the end of June 2020, The Outcast Lovers was made available a month later. Both stories are loosely connected, emotionally charged and have clear political and social themes. Reviews for both earlier instalments can be found here.
The third episode of The Sacrifices, The Change Architect was released in November 2020 and was shortly followed by an announcement that it would be the final instalment. Unfortunately, the developer’s Kickstarter goals were not met and they understandably concluded that they “wouldn’t be happy releasing The Sacrifices without the money to include the voices of those affected by the topics the games cover“.
The Change Architect
Developer: Far Few Giants
Released: 25th November 2020
Price: Free – $3.00
The Change Architect is a choice-driven protest simulator, a theme that hits close to home in the current climate! The player takes on the role of coordinator, with live camera feeds providing an eagle eye of friends and comrades on the ground, they must ensure the safety and effectiveness of the demonstration and fend off those looking to do more than disperse it.
Gameplay and Narrative
As the protagonist, Jemima, players must try to direct hundreds of thousands of protesters that have gathered in London because Baron Sugar is about to get away with election fraud and seize control of the country! By utilising the cameras, an anonymous messaging system and the eyes of partner Adi, Jemima must deal with police rioting, provocateurs, and even the military. She is faced with dilemmas such as whether to hold the line or pull back. This puts the player into the uncomfortable position of making intense, politically changed choices that will affect the safety of the protesters and the impact of the event.
The game uses standard point and click mechanics to navigate its narrative. Clicking to progress through narration and dialogue and making a number of decisions along the way. However, it also allows players to control the camera angle, directing the visual aspects of The Change Architect!
As with the previous instalments of The Sacrifices, The Change Architect uses low poly models and simple shapes, teamed with minimal but very high contrast colour palettes that are uncomfortable in a way that accentuates the seriousness of the game’s themes. The music begins with low droning undertones with an ominous melody playing gently over the top. The audio intensity rises throughout the game building into a dramatic crescendo that perfectly matches the game’s emotional conclusion.
Overall, The Change Architect was another emotive, poignant and, if I’m honest, tear-jerking experience from Far Few Giants. It cleverly sees the protagonist forcing a fictional audience to face the protest’s opposition head-on in the same way that the game does to the player. It is a short game, playable within 10 minutes or so but it is a powerful experience that even offers some replayability in its multiple-choice elements. While this game is easy to recommend, playing it is a bittersweet experience since it is now to be the final instalment of The Sacrifices game series.
If you’d like to know more about Far Few Giants and their projects why not check out the following articles:
Far Few Giants: Developer Interview – 10mg: Ten Ten-Minute Mini-Games! – Upcoming Games: Eleven Great Demos and Prologues