Little Red Lie is probably the best $10 dollars I’ve spent in a long time.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is Little Red Lie? It’s the newest game from William O’Neil, who I know nothing about. He did another game called Actual Sunlight, which I know nothing about. I wouldn’t even know about this game if Rock, Paper, Shotgun hadn’t written about it.
However, as soon as I read about this game, I was immediately drawn to it. It’s a narrative driven story about two terrible people, one who does the right thing and pays for it, and one who doesn’t do the right thing and pays for it. The story of a young jobless lady so in debt that she moves in with her parents is told parallel the story of a rich motivational speaker, and how the lack of money in one and the surplus of money in the other causes their lives to spiral out of control. It’s a story about a Canada where baby boomers are straining the healthcare system, the economy has tanked and their are no jobs for the current generation, and cost of living has risen greatly. It’s bleak, and depressing, and I love it.
As someone without a whole lot of money, I found the story of Sarah, the unemployed 38 year old living with her parents much easier to relate then the story of Arthur Fox, the motivational speaker. However, I don’t really want to talk about it too much, because that spoils the story, and this story is too good to be spoiled. I can say though, that I was cheering for Sarah. She has hit rock bottom, and is very depressed, and I just wanted things to get better. But it doesn’t. In comparison, Arthur Fox is a scumbag who takes advantage of the poor, and I was cheering for every bad thing that happened to him.
The actual story isn’t even the best part. It’s the reflection of the two characters on society and what’s happening to them. The game is played by moving the character around, and pressing x to lie about various objects. Through this the story will unfold, as various truths and lies get mixed in, providing excellent commentary about the modern society.
Now would be the time to mention. The writing in this blew my mind. I didn’t agree with every bit of it, but that didn’t change it was emotional, powerful, and brilliantly executed.
If you have a spare $10 dollars and nihilistic stories are your thing, I heavily recommend this game. You can find it here.
Edit: As a warning this game contains some very heavy themes and stuff to watch out for if you have triggers. Big ones are suicide, rape, and drug use.
I think that’s enough feeding into my paranoia and justifying me being on anti-depressants for one week. I’m going to check out Dream Daddy next, like all the cool kids are.