Somehow this summer I came across this freeware game called Façade. It’s, to be blunt, very hard to describe the exact appeal of Façade. It’s not in playing the game properly. After all, the premise of the game is that your old friends, Trip and Grace, couldn’t be bothered to hang out with you for TEN YEARS and then Trip decides out of the blue, hey, let’s hang out! It turns out that they having serious martial problems, so Trip has this grand plan to invite you over to remind Grace of you introducing them ten years ago to rekindle the romance. Course, this doesn’t work, and instead, you’re thrust into a miserable evening of trying to fix the relationship between these two as they constantly fight.
Problem is, at least for me, is that you don’t want to hook the two back up together. They’re just so miserable together, and well, divorce exists for reason. The only character that you can feel any bit of sympathy for, and believe me, it’s tiny, is for Grace as it’s obvious that Trip is a controlling emotionally abusive jerk. Not to mention, all you have to do is insult her decorating when she asks what you think (yes, you read right) and she’ll be decent to you all evening. Still, that doesn’t change the fact they’re totally self-centered and did I mention I have to ask for a drink again for the 5th time?
So what exactly is the appeal of playing this game? It’s in goofing off and saying weird stuff which leads to amusing results thanks to imperfect AI. Grace and Trip are made to respond to only single words, not whole phrases, so you can sit there and say whatever and they just ignore you…then just HAD to say that one word and the stare at you, shocked that you’d say such thing. They’re just so funny when shocked.
Then there’s how they respond when you offend them. They’ll just laugh it off, be confused, or think you’re being funny or just try to smooth it over no matter just how bad what you suggested is—that is, until Trip gets fed up with you, and kicks you out of the apartment. Also, Trip snapping and kicking out is pretty damn funny in itself. That final slam in the face should make you feel bad for losing the game, but actually, it’s satisfying…
So yes, it’s funny for all the wrong reasons. But I’m still entertained, dang it, in trying to figure out new ways to be a terrible houseguest. In the end, it’s one of those things you just have to try to see for yourself. Luckily, it’s easily downloaded at interactivestory.net. Have fun trying to push their buttons, and while you do so, you just might beat the game! I did! (Yes, I actually once brought the insufferable couple together. On my fourth try actually.)
In actual reviews terms, on my scale, it warrants a 1/5 for the actual game, especially with those awful no excuse graphics. But entertainment wise if you just goof off, 4/5.