A game that simulates the breakup of a marriage
Windows XP / Windows NT / Windows 2000 / Windows ME
Facade is an extremely distinct interactive adventure game that utilizes responsive AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology to help the player advance through its plot: the potential breakdown of a young couple’s marriage.
There are two unique elements within Facade that will set it apart from other video game experiences. The first, and most obvious, is its storyline. In terms of narrative, you play as a character who is caught in the cracks of the crumbling marriage between your two friends: Grace and Trip. The events of the game take place during a dinner outing at Grace and Trip’s home. As the events unfold, Grace and Trip begin to fight and the future of their marriage slowly becomes compromised.
The crux of the plot is drama. As the night wears on, Grace and Trip hold nothing back as they continue to fight and emotionally grow apart before your eyes, and it’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen.
This is where the second distinct aspect of Facade becomes apparent. Facade uses AI technology to allow the user to truly play as themselves. Rather than choosing between a set of predetermined responses, as is most common in other games, Facade supports the user’s ability to type in their own responses while trying to keep the marriage together. In essence, it allows the user to not only feel like he or she is merely playing game, but it allows them to feel like they are part of the narrative, which is a truly unique experience. It’s the difference between being an audience member at a theater production and acting in it.
Over the course of the night, and as Trip and Grace’s fight progresses, you become privy to both sides of the story. In addition to that, you are able to interact with certain environments and surfaces of their home. This experience better equips you to mediate and (hopefully) mitigate Trip and Grace’s fight, saving their marriage.
There are some aspects of Facade that may deter certain users. For instance, the unique, AI-driven and drama-focused aspect of the plot may act as a deterrent for some users who may be used to traditional video games. Also, the AI functions aren’t completely seamless. As intriguing and prospective as it is to be able to type in your own responses to dialog, sometimes your responses will provoke dialogue that doesn’t entirely make sense, which can ruin the unique and engrossing nature of Facade’s story.
The other aspect of Facade that holds it back is the fact that it isn’t supported by anything past Windows XP. It will only function on Windows ME to XP.