The Act: Animated Video Game Based on Nuance, Finally Available

I first heard of “The Act” over four years ago, when I came across a company called Cecropia. They were marketing a kind of game called “personality games,” with an emphasis more on subtlety and nuance, over twitchy-ness and reaction.

Not sure why Cecropia changed their website URL (before / after) but after doing some digging this weekend… I tracked down the game!

Let me catch you up a bit on things. First, go here and try out the mini Flash game on the page. It should give you a sense of what the overall gameplay of “The Act” is like.

When I found out about the game in 2008, I learned that there were only a small number of physical game machines available. In order to play it, you had to find one of these guys. I recall emailing the company ages ago, but could never track down a machine or a way to play the game.

Fast forward a few years, in the era of iPhones and iPads… and now the game is available to play, right from the iTunes store.

The mechanics of the game are really simple: slide your finger across the screen to determine the main character, Edgar’s, actions. The farther you go in any given direction, the stronger the reaction. Typically, moving to the left makes Edgar more timid or shy while moving to the right makes him more bold or aggressive.

Edgar, cautiously trying to flirt with Sylvia.

Edgar going perhaps a bit too far.

What makes the gameplay fun is that the animation reacts to your choices. And the correct “move” is never just one thing – it’s typically a sequence of moves, strung together.

Here’s the trailer for the game:

The one drawback I’ll mention here is that the overall game is pretty short. It’s a lot of fun, and when Liz came in about halfway… she got sucked in, and watched me play the remainder of the game. It’s equally fair to say that she also came to watch the remainder of the movie. It kind of has that feel.

Overall, I’d say it’s definitely worth the cost ($0.99) despite the length of the game. The animation and humor are top notch, and for me… this is a game I’ve been wanting to play for some time now. Four years seems like a lifetime ago, particularly from a tech point of view.

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