Enlarge / The stylish yarns of We are OFK— and yes, that includes the cartoony cat, t"> Enlarge / The stylish yarns of We are OFK— and yes, that includes the cartoony cat, t">

Review: We Are OFK is stylish, subversive TV disguised as an indie game

We Are OFK – and yes, that includes the cartoony cat, though I’ll leave his involvement in the series vague for now.”/>

Enlarge / The stylish yarns of We are OFK— and yes, that includes the cartoony cat, though I’ll leave his involvement in the series vague for now.

The OFK team

Imagine versions of The monkeys Beatles TV series or movies like A hard day’s night for the modern era. What might they look like? I don’t just mean aesthetically – although any “songs on the show” would certainly differ from the 60s like “Daydream Believer”. What kind of story would he tell? Where will the series air? How would it be presented?

I often came back to this thought while enjoying this week We are OFK, which is as close to an answer to my question as I’ve seen in a modern, hyper-connected era. This format blur experience may be marketed as a video game, which will be released on PlayStation, Switch and PC consoles on Thursday, but it falls somewhere between an interactive experience, a passive television series and a visual novel. And its production values ​​and brave storytelling choices benefit immensely from this platform-agnostic approach.

A “video game” that leaves the exes in reading

<em>We Are OFK</em> includes a wide variety of detailed and lush locations for its characters to hatch their personal and artistic lives.”  data-src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/4-WeAreOFK_screen-980×408. png” width=”980″ height=”408″/></a><figcaption class=
Enlarge / We are OFK includes a wide variety of lush and detailed locations for its characters to hash out their personal and artistic lives.

The OFK team

The six-hour experience, divided into five “episodes”, follows four restless and disgruntled Los Angelenos in a slightly altered version of our own world. Some brand names are changed (Twitter is now “Twibber”, Tinder is “Phoenix”, etc.), but its characters order carpool cars, leave messages reading, and doomscroll like modern twenty-somethings. Each of the four main characters have come to Los Angeles to escape their old lives – a problem each looks at in different ways – and, early in this series’ episodes, find themselves drawn to each other as ” group” while continuing his own. respective artistic and romantic dreams.

Much of it feels like an anime or CW TV series that focuses on the lives of young people, as opposed to an action-packed thriller or drama. However, although I do not regularly listen to this kind of tariff, I found myself absorbed by We are OFKcombines high production values, fantastic voice acting, and tasteful dollops of interactivity. Mechanically, episodes can function either as a visual novel or as an entirely passive television experience. Choices do not create plot diversions; instead, players sometimes choose one of three dialogue options for a main character. These appear as thought bubbles with differing opinions that logically coexist in response to what just happened. You can choose your favorite to guide a character’s dialogue in a given scene, or let the game automatically select one after a 10-second pause.

When prompted, choose one of three answers.  This plays out in both spoken dialogue and text messages.
Enlarge / When prompted, choose one of three answers. This plays out in both spoken dialogue and text messages.

The OFK team

The game’s other clever “interactive” content comes when the perspective zooms into a character’s smartphone, where players watch text conversations unfold in real time. These alternate between bursts of quick messages and an icon of ellipses (…) indicating that the character on the other end is either typing, pausing, or deleting. We are OFK be careful not to overdo it with excruciatingly long breaks. Instead, the game sometimes lets you press a button to advance with a prompt saying something like “stare at the phone for five minutes while waiting for a response.” In these interfaces, the game allows you to use a joystick or a mouse to optionally scroll the screen of the virtual smartphone and see previous messages and emoji exchanged between the characters. This adorable character development easter egg reminds me of the clickable, hidden elements of Flash animations of yore.

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