Can Androids Pray
Developed By : Strange Scaffold
Published By : aPriori Digital
Category : Narrative, Visual Novel
Release Date : Apr 16, 2020
While heavy narrative games, and even visual novels, don’t offer the extensive gameplay that some players seek, they offer a unique perspective on telling a story. Not only do you get fun visuals to go along with your story, most times you get an active say in how the story plays out. Can Androids Pray gives you that control, but in a much smaller scope than anything comparable.
The story is a brief one, and the background is delivered as the game itself plays out. You “play” as one of two android-controlled mechs as they lay crumpled on the ground. Their recent mission has failed and they now find themselves in a…less than positive predicament.
Where most games would you the opportunity to avoid death, this one forces you into it. You and your companion are trapped with absolutely no way out, so instead of being able to escape death, you’ll be allowed to face it head on and talk about it. And that’s the point of this one, getting you to carve your conversational path based on your own personal feelings of life, death, and what may (or may not) come after.
It’s an extremely short game, taking about half an hour or less depending on if you think out your answers. You won’t have a ton of input, but what choices you do get will make perfect sense on where the conversation is getting steered. Towards the end, your companion reveals that all of the mechs may or may not actually be mechs.
Some suits are controlled by humans, while most are controlled by an AI. The catch is that all the AI are programmed to think they are humans. This turns things into a Schrodinger’s Cat scenario in which the only way to find out if you are a human or an AI is by opening your suit. But, if you open your suit, you die.
I wish I could say this game was short and sweet, but I missed out on all the sweetness. The conversation itself felt a little rushed, to the point that my responses didn’t feel like they carried all that much weight. When I reached the end, I felt no strong compulsion to re-run the game and explore every option. If it was a longer game, or more options to create forking paths, I could see this game being enjoyable. As it is though, Can Androids Pray is just far too short to really recommend. If you still find yourself curious to check it out on your own, my suggestion is waiting for it to go on sale. This game may have a low price point, but not low enough in my opinion.