XEZI is an old-fashioned text adventure. Where the likes of Inkle and Tin Man Games have spruced up their output, this is very much a game of words. There are pictures here and there, but your only interaction involves choosing what to say.
And you need to choose carefully. This is a branching, labyrinthine tale that can bend away from you in multiple directions depending on how different characters react to you.
It's not for the faint of heart, or anyone who gets sad and angry if they're forced to even think about looking at a book, but die-hard fans of the genre could well find something they like here.Read ahead
The game is set in ancient China and sets you on a quest to find the titular, well, whatever it is. Since the game is pretty much all plot, I don't want to go in to too much detail. But safe to say there's a lot going on.
The story unfolds in front of you, and every now and then you're given choices to make. These might be questions to ask other characters, or you picking the specific way of telling a part of a story.
For example, you might say you loved your mother, or that you hated her, or that you didn't really have any strong feelings about her either way. You pick, some more text pops up on the screen, you read it, and then you get another choice.
And that's the rhythm of play. Some people are going to find it laborious, some people are going to lap it up with every single atom of their being. I'll be honest, you probably know which camp you fit into by now.
This is very much a game that has no middle ground, no crossover appeal. You're either going to take one look at it and propose, or have a glance and sod off to do something else. You can't please everyone.
And XEZI doesn't try to. There isn't a single concession for the more visual nature of mobile gaming. You're reading, so go and read and make some decisions and come back here when you've messed it all up.Go to page I don't know, whatever
There are a few niggles here though. The game isn't splendidly well written, and there are spelling and grammar mistakes littering the prose. When your game is literally all prose, that's not really good enough.
But if you can look past that you'll find an entertaining yarn. It's not entertaining enough to change your mind about an entire genre, but if you've always got your reading glasses perched at the end of your nose then you're in for a decent enough treat.