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Game Info:

Ord.
Developed by: Mujo Games
Published by: Ratalaika Games
Release date: November 3, 2020
Available on: Linux, macOS, PS4, Switch, Windows, Xbox One
Genre: Text Adventure
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Teen for Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs, Violent References
Price: $4.99

Thank you Ratalaika Games for sending us a review code!

Ord. is a minimalist text based adventure game that’s told three words at a time. There’s a prompt word and you get to choose between (usually) two single-word responses. After your choice is made, the follow-up word is shown. As long as you survived, a new prompt and choices will be revealed.

There are many ways to get bad endings. For example, if you stare at the sun, you will go blind. Some bad endings are predictable like attempting to take honey from an active bee’s nest. Unfortunately, depending on your luck with the randomly selected prompts, bad endings may be unavoidable in some scenarios. Along with no way to win/survive, I have also encountered duplicate prompts.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Unique text adventures told three words at a time
Weak Points: The random dialogue options sometimes duplicate or cause scenarios where you cannot win
Moral Warnings: Descriptive violence; a lewd magazine with pages stuck together is referenced; evil monsters, warlocks, and witches; drinking and drunkenness

In total, there are five stories that differ in length and number of endings available. Here’s a quick breakdown of them:

Quest. - Leave your house and embark on a quest to dethrone an evil warlock
Dimensions. – A random portal appears, do you go through it? Can you make it back alive?
World. – Re-create the events of Genesis 1. How would you create life differently? How will it turn out?
Foul Things. – You’re an imprisoned child, can you escape from the hungry monsters who captured you?
Heist. – Congratulations, you robbed a bank! See if you can survive with your newfound wealth.

When you select a previously played story, you’ll see a progress bar indicating your completion rate. Unfortunately, there are no checkpoints or means of saving your progress. When you die, you have to start all the way from the beginning and hope that the randomly selected prompts are in your favor. Some of the stories are longer than others with Foul Things taking me about an hour of trial and error to get to the half-way point.

Thankfully, there are some guides out there to help you see all of the endings and earn the sixty-two available achievements/trophies. The Steam version is the least expensive out there at $1.99 while the console versions are $4.99. With the cheaper price tag and community submitted stories, the PC version is the one to get.

Ord.
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay: 15/20
Graphics: 4/10
Sound: 7/10
Stability: 4/5
Controls: 5/5

Morality Score - 76%
Violence: 7/10
Language: 10/10
Sexual Content: 8/10
Occult/Supernatural: 5/10
Cultural/moral/Ethical: 8/10

I was surprised to find that this text-based game ran noticeably better on my PS5 in comparison to the PS4. I saw some minor graphical distortions in the text on my PS4, not game-breaking, but noticeable.

The title screen has a female character on it, but there’s no reference to gender for any of the main characters so I don’t know which story she’s tied to. Other than text there are some rain and lightning effects.

The audio is simplistic as well with some minor sound effects and mood-setting background music.

From a moral perspective there are some issues worth noting. There are many ways to die and it’s not always accidental. Your character can be killed by trolls, witches, monsters, and zombies. Some of these characters use magic on you if you let them. In one story, moving a bed reveals a lewd magazine with pages that are stuck together. Getting drunk at a tavern is another possibility. During the heist story you can swear at the bank manager and the foul language shows up as symbols.

If you like short stories and choose your own adventures, Ord. is worth looking into. The portability of the Switch version is appealing but the most value can be found in the Steam version. You can’t go wrong either way if you enjoy old-fashioned text adventure games.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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