Eerie Estate Agent Review (Android)
Interactive fiction without pictures. You’re still here.
Interactive fiction where you play not a ninja or spy or wizard, but an estate agent. Jesus, what do I need to do to make you leave?!
Eerie Estate Agent is all of the above. It’s a “choose your own adventure” style e-book. A Fighting Fantasy type of affair where you make choices throughout the story. But without the fighting. Or fantasy. Or the “game” part.
Obviously with a game so reductively simple the story itself has to be good. Essentially, it’s all there is. Taking the place of the sound and graphics, the prose had better be good or the whole experience will be pointless.
Luckily for developer “Choice of Games”, they have crafted an intriguing and involving story that benefits from a bit of local (in this case Edinbrugh) flavour. Written by Gavin Inglis, it’s a quirky tale filled with some characters that manage to be both original and caricatures at the same time. The “eerieiness” is somewhat slow to materialise, but that doesn’t matter so much as the story of the fearsome “Crocodile” (a nickname for your predatory boss) is engaging too. It’s a story filled with little acerbic asides about the modern world of estate agents, and there are many moments of misanthropy throughout that show Gavin Inglis is an amusingly cynical writer.
The most “game-y” elements are the stats that are gathered throughout play. Measuring the success of your career, these are very simple and measure things like your work-life balance. In any other title these would be utterly irrelevant, but with so little else in this package they take on a greater importance. The only other fun game-like element is the ability to name the characters. I named myself “Mr Cuddles” and my main rival “Steven Arsewinkle”.
For all the positives that can be found in the quality of the writing, the presentation of the whole package really lets it down. On the Android version the whole thing looks like a badly formatted webpage, with clumsily laid out social media links at the top of the screen. Even if these looked good they would be an odd addition, but they are very off-putting and should never have been included in the game.
Eerie Estate Agent held my interest far more than I thought it would. It’s barely even a game, but it is a fun story. Its definitely not for everyone, but if you are a fan of interactive fiction (or just good storytelling) and don’t mind a game that’s entirely text, battling the evil Steven Arsewinkle might be something you would enjoy.
6 amusingly named antagonists out of 10