Casually ruin a virtual life through poorly thought out decisions... sweet!
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, fan of retro games, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EACH of the video games in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, and are not meant to be definitive, in depth reviews; this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey itself. From Mario games to the Halo series, from arcade games to Commodore 64, PC games to the NES and Sega Genesis, Playstation to the Xbox, let's play those classic retro games that we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Alter Ego is a role-playing video game released by Activision in 1986. It was created by Peter J. Favaro for the Commodore 64, MS-DOS, Apple II, and the Apple Macintosh. The game allows the user to make decisions for an imaginary person (being therefore the player's alter ego) and shows what possible consequences these decisions could have on that person. Alter Ego was available in both male and female versions, each using a different set of experiences.
The player's alter ego begins the game as an infant; the game presents the user with a tree diagram with nodes, each labeled with an icon. The player chooses an icon representing an "experience" or situation to explore. Each icon bears a symbol showing what kind of experience it represents (for example, a heart denotes an emotional event). After making a choice in each node, the user is moved back to the tree with that node marked as completed. In this manner, the user can progress to the next experience, thus living through his or her alter ego's entire life and examining what impact their decisions had. Some of these experiences are disturbing, and can even lead to premature death (such as being raped and killed by a child molester), though most tend to be humorous.
Alter Ego keeps track of certain player statistics throughout the game, which in turn affect the alter ego's ability to succeed at certain choices. For example, in the high school segment, the player might be given the choice of trying out for the school baseball team, or deciding instead to crack down and study harder to improve in math. This decision might change the alter ego's "Physical", "Confidence", and "Intellectual" statistics, which in future experiences might influence the alter ego's ability to get into college or succeed in social situations.
The game was advertised as being based on actual psychological knowledge and experience.