Feb 122013

I’ll tell you guys a fun fact about me. I am really into Jane Austen. I’ve taken multiple classes about her books, and I’ve seen more Jane Austen film adaptations than I can count. Austen is awesome in every way, so I was pretty stoked to see that there is actually a decent video game about her books out there.

Matches and Matrimony: A Pride and Prejudice Tale is definitely going to be most enjoyable for Austen fans. This PC game pulls romance plots from several Austen novels, including her most famous, Pride and Prejudice, as well as others, including Sense and Sensibility, and (my personal favorite) Persuasion. Players take on the role of Elizabeth Bennet, although you can give her any first name you like. The goal is to navigate Elizabeth through multiple chapters of Regency intrigue and Austen plots twisted together like a giant pretzel to find her a suitable ending. The game has many endings to choose from, and some are harder to find than others, giving the game a lot of replay value. The game also tracks which endings you’ve received, so you can easily play again with the same profile and try for a different ending. There’s even a fast forward option for scenes you’ve already been through.

The game is essentially a dialogue-based adventure that requires the player to make decisions while interacting with certain characters that will affect how the game plays out. Players must also choose what activities Elizabeth will complete during the week, which will raise and lower attributes she has. Certain attributes must be at a high or low level to achieve endings in the game, but of course, the game doesn’t tell you what they are, so a lot of experimentation is required to get different results. As you advance through the game, some dialogues will eventually reveal hints about attribute combinations you should try. Still, some endings are much harder to achieve than others, and achieving the ultimate ending, the actual ending of Pride and Prejudice, is the hardest of all.

Taking walks will increase your willpower, decrease your propriety, and sap your energy.

Overall, this game is pretty basic. The graphics are bright and fun, the music is decent, and most of the dialogue is taken from Austen’s novels, which is a nice touch. However, you can’t simply duplicate character responses from the novels to win the game, which adds challenge to the game even for those who are ridiculously familiar with Austen’s plots. If you’re not into Austen or text-based adventures, this game is probably not for you, but if you are, I highly recommend giving this one a shot.

Grade: 8/10

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