Fire­watch

Rekin­dle your love of the out­doors

Mac Format - - APPLE CHOICE - Alan STONE­BRIDGE

£14.99 FROM Campo Santo, cam­posanto.com NEEDS OS X 10.8 or higher

Henry’s life has gone off the rails, so he’s signed up for a sum­mer as a for­est fire look­out to es­cape from rou­tine while he gets his head to­gether.

He’s in­ducted into the role by Delilah, who in­structs him by ra­dio from her nearby tower, which is the per­fect ex­cuse to guide him through a painterly ren­der­ing of the great out­doors.

Fire­watch is less a game than an in­ter­ac­tive novel. Against the soli­tude of its set­ting, con­ver­sa­tions be­tween Henry and Delilah give you an in­sight into their per­sonal lives, en­dear­ing them to you with some of the best voice act­ing we’ve heard in a ‘game’.

The back­drop isn’t wholly con­vinc­ing, though; an ini­tial sense of roam­ing gives way to some parts feel­ing very much like gam­ing con­structs, and later on things feel very care­fully guided. Even so, the di­a­logue seeds in­trigue that sets your mind rac­ing al­most all the way to the end.

Fire­watch speaks about mid­dle-aged con­cerns in the way Stephen King’s Standby

Me speaks about ado­les­cence. It’s a page turner, a jour­ney of self-dis­cov­ery. Ul­ti­mately, it left us with mixed feel­ings. Af­ter about four hours of play, we wanted to fol­low Henry and Delilah be­yond our inevitable part­ing of ways, yet we felt a lit­tle un­der­whelmed by some of the res­o­lu­tion.

There’s not enough free­dom to

roam, but it’s still gor­geous.

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