Erica is an interactive movie adventure game coming to Steam, which was first released on PS4 in 2019 and somehow passed me by, although I must say I’m getting more into this type of game these days.
You take the lead role of Erica Mason, played by Holly Earl, whose mother, Alodie, died when she was young and she’s been taken care of by her father ever since, but a situation happens which leads to her living in a place called Delphi House, for which I couldn’t quite work out whether it was a children’s home or something out of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
Digitised movies have clearly come a long way since 1993’s Night Trap, now allowing you to control photo-realistic graphics where you can see some work has been done to alter them digitally to a degree so you’re aware you’re controlling a game rather than just watching a movie, but the effect is very good. One such example is that the young Erica has been given something akin to anime-style doe eyes, for example.
I don’t know if the PS4 had mouse support, but on PC, obviously this game does (even though takes a little getting used to controlling in the mouse, here) in what is essentially a choose your own path adventure story, where each option can give you two or more choices. Quite how different some of those choices are, I’m not sure, since you’ve got to get to the final scene somehow. And I’m sure there was at least one option I took where I could choose between two choices and essentially I was just told, “Nah, let’s do it this way anyway”.
Another gave me different characters to follow up with, but perhaps they’ll all curve round to the same endgame?
With the story including a spooky doll, and mysterious images and a medallion coming up later, Erica plays out a bit like a Channel 5 drama but with more of an actual plot… well, at least no-one’s going into a cave, getting lost five minutes later and then deciding they’ll just give up and die. (Yes, Intruder, I’m looking at you!)
Erica is a very ambitious project, but it pretty much works. However, while the story is a bit daft, it’s pretty engaging for the full running time which is around 100 minutes including closing credits, but while I only went through it the once, you can, of course, replay it and take different choices to see if things turn out different. If you’ve done that, let me know in the comments below.
I just wish this game at chapters, so if there was a crash or something I could come back to it. That came to mind because occasionally, there were slight glitches. The dialogue once went out of sync with the picture, subtitles sometimes appeared on screen but with no accompanying dialogue, and a few times, the game slightly froze in one scene for a few seconds making me think it was going to do a Dirt 5 and crash back to desktop. Thankfully, it didn’t, but I don’t want to get part-way through a game and have to start again.
Erica is released tomorrow on PC/Steam, and is already out on PS4.
- Developer: Flavourworks
- Publisher: Flavourworks
- Players: single-player
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.