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Abnormality: puzzle computer game

Abnormality: puzzle computer game
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I was walking past an elderly care home and I had an idea for a puzzle-based computer game, probably 3rd-person like Grim Fandango—man that game was great.

You play a slightly eccentric, quick-witted, middle-aged man called Andre Smith-Jones who has been incarcerated in an retirement home.

You talk with the old guests, most of them are past it, but one of them (Charlie Fox) is still sharp and you converse about your big ideas and plans. He’s very supportive and inspirational. Once you fully explore the conversation tree with Charlie he gives you your first clue for escaping the retirement home. If you try to escape out the door it is either locked or a member of the nursing staff _helps_ you by escorting you back to your room and putting you back into bed saying “there, that’s better now isn’t it.” Whenever this happens Andre says something witty like “these people just love to get my pants off.” Above all else Andre doesn’t understand why everyone treats him as old or insane. Some people are just plain scared of him, at first you put that down to the Alzheimer's of the guests but it continues as a theme throughout the game when you escape into the real world.

Once you have your first clue, you go round getting objects in the retirement home and construct some clever means of escaping. Maybe it involves a strange concoction in the kitchen or getting a passcode from a secret notebook or something, I dunno. The point is, you escape.

The rest of the game consists of you going round a completely normal present-day world where you learn about terrible things that are happening and try to improve the situation for people. Each time you do so you seem to attract more and more animated attention. Also as the game progresses people seem to be increasingly weird, sometimes downright barmy.

All the puzzles you solve are of completely non-violent means and a lot of them are really positive; you generally go round helping people and making their lives better. Although they don’t always seem to be able to appreciate it because they are so weird.

After a while you meet the strangest person yet. He wears extremely unusual clothing and seems to know about everything you’ve done and talks about how great it all is. He also keeps mentioning how you should wake up and see things for what they really are. After a while he becomes a pest so you ditch him by helping him in some way.

As the game concludes you start to piece together your big plans for improving the world. Your actions start to have wider reaching implications of the people. Andre voices his concerns about why he is going to all this effort if everyone is clearly insane and promises himself that once he fixes the world he’ll start fixing the people too.

As you put the final piece of your plan into action, a crowd of people approach you, all in strange clothing and they start dancing around you, smiling, and singing songs about how great you are. You think this is pretty weird so you try to run away but you ultimately fail. They force you to eat lots of peanuts, which you think is a bit odd but you go along with it anyway. Then, the peanuts start to have an effect. The environment chances and instead of seeing Andre and a crowd of strange dancing people you see an old man surrounded by doctors and nurses and the peanuts are now pills.

The ending sequence of the game show and explains how you weren’t really a middle-aged man you were actually a really old man and you were completely delusional and dangerous throughout. It shows you how being in the retirement home was really the best place for you and how all the helpful things you did were actually violent or barbaric. It shows you how you ruined peoples lives and how all the people who you thought were most supportive of you were actually telling you exactly the opposite and trying to make you see your insanity. And finally, it shows you how your big plan you just completed was to release a deadly virus into the water supplies of the world and you’re now responsible for the deaths of millions.

I call the game: Abnormality. A nod to a similar title of Normality where everyone really was weird and you were the only sane one.

ojsx, Apr 26 2011


       Well, you've ruined the twist for everyone now.   

       I liked the ending to I Am Legend (the book, obviously) where he realises the vampires are normal and he's now the legend. But I don't think it'd blend well with the Alice in Wonderland it-was-all-a-dream ending.
mitxela, Apr 26 2011

       not sure about why a middle-aged man would be put in a retirement home but I like the madness of this game although I think it would be better as a novel. anyway + for the five minute escape from my real world which tends to be very mundane.
po, Apr 26 2011

       If you are an old person yourself, then you can have skills/attributes like "Transfer", "Toilet", "Dress Yourself", "Identify Medication", "Eat Independently", and you have to find things (e.g. canes, large-print books, hearing aids) during your adventure, which help you improve these skills enough to get out of the building.   

       Sorry, didn't read the whole idea before... now I get it.
phundug, Apr 26 2011

       Middle-agedness is part of the deranged elderly protagonist's delusion of persecution. Do try to keep up.
rcarty, Apr 26 2011

       Perhaps some backstory could serve. Maybe Andre is a former prisoner of Stalag Luft III, and believes he is participating in an escape plan from the German prison camp, but every once in awhile a jarring reality pokes in for some brief sideways glances.
RayfordSteele, Apr 26 2011

       thank you [rcarty] I will try.   

       in the 2nd para it says that one plays a middle-aged man - the tenth says you were actually a really old man. how come when I played the game I could out-parkour everyone else and jump over all those falling barrels that the gorilla kept throwing at me? I think its really about a young athletic man on LSD.
po, Apr 26 2011


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