For a game that claims to be an interactive fiction story about romance and intimacy, Finding the Time seems to fall flat on both. The premise is helping a couple navigate the difficulties in their relationship and striking a balance between career and each other. Ordinarily I’m all for games that push storytelling into different ways, but Finding the Time never moves beyond the expected, or the painfully awkward.
Dialogue is a crucial element of character driven narrative. First-time developer, Reflective Scope, really should have put more effort into polishing theirs, or at least translating it more fluently. The choice prompts are clunky and feel ham-fisted at best. For something as nuanced as a relationship you really need more options then just, being a ball-busting business women or a sultry vixen. Sadly, there is no middle ground in Finding the Time.
The protagonist, Andrea, is either throwing herself at her lover, Will, or snapping at him over the slightest provocation. The playable demo just rehashes the trailer so no additional insight is gained through playing it. I had hoped I’d get a deeper look into Andrea and Will’s life, but that is not the case.
A key example is one of the very first choice prompts. Andrea is running late for work, you are given the choice to rush your morning preparations or take your time and think about things. What things are you thinking about? No idea, pandas maybe. I suspect that if you took your time you might think about it being Andrea’s anniversary, but there is nothing to hint at that or even indicate that daydreaming about an endangered species could be beneficial to your relationship. After this, Andrea discovers Will has made her breakfast and gets upset because he put too many pancakes on her plate, because conflict?
It’s hard to take the game seriously, even if the idea behind it seems notable. Reflective Scope is seeking $9,105 to fund their Kickstarter with an expected release in August of this year. I think it’s safe to say you can take your time, and think about passing on this one.