To Be or Not To Be – The Brief


Is that really the question?

Ryan North is a comedic genius. You may think that you don’t know who he is, but really you do. He writes the Dinosaur Webcomic, Adventure Time and many other works of parody. While this Shakespeare derivative has been out for a while in book form, its transition into the digital space is warmly welcomed. One must ask, however, is it good or is it not good? This is what I think.


This is the second time we have looked at a text based game. In the past we explored A Choice of Robots which proved to be a much more serious take on the genre. Tin Man Games have had plenty of experience in this area in fact, and this is one of the reasons why Ryan North will have partnered with them. Together with funding from Screen Australia they have been able to use their talents together to make this text based adventure.  

As many of you will have been able to figure out, this is a game based on the classic action adventure play by the sci-fi writer Bill Shakespeare… or maybe it was just good o’l Will Shakespeare. This choose your own adventure novel has you exploring the tale of Hamlet in a much more detailed and interesting way than you would have in school. Characters seem to open up, the language becomes much more relateable, and by way of harking back to the comedic value of the original plays, much funnier.


There are always a nice range of choices which the narrator gives you access to, many of which are rather witty, but often they aim to make you realise that the story was just silly to begin with. All the inconsistencies and all the stupid actions are laid out for the reader to mock, and then explore. This is truly the version which Shakespeare himself would read today.

Julian has been involved in the games industry for more than a couple of years now, from working in retail to developing board games to judging Magic: the Gathering tournaments Australia wide. Now as a writer for OK Games he likes to explore niche titles that try to approach gaming from a different perspective. Now all he needs to do is start finishing all those games in his Steam Library...