Game Reviews

This Is Not a Test: A Post-Apocalyptic Prequel

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This Is Not a Test: A Post-Apocalyptic Prequel

After thoroughly enjoying last year's The Walking Dead, I was keen to try another story-driven game with a tale that twists and turns depending on the decisions you make.

This Is Not a Test: A Post-Apocalyptic Prequel is presented in a comic book-style, with a narrative that unfolds piece-by-piece, and choices to be made in each situation.

The story is entertaining, and in terms of presentation you can't fault Canadian developer Robot Monster. I just wish there were better options for replaying the game multiple times.

PSA: This is a game

Some sort of lethal gas is engulfing the world around you. Through a series of comic book panels, you follow the story of an apocalypse survivor - or victim, as it may transpire.

After reading each story panel, you're given multiple options on how to proceed through the story, and your choices affect where the story goes.

The game is presented wonderfully, and the choices feel genuinely meaningful as well as entertaining. The story branches off in many different directions, and there's plenty to see (and be killed by).

Along the way, there are several optional side-story options to read through too, in case you're the sort of player who likes to take in the full picture.

And you're also asked to choose specific skills at the beginning, which factor into the options you're granted. Essentially, This Is Not a Test presents you with a massive amount of choice, and you'll be playing for hours to discover everything it has to offer.

PSA: You are dead

But it's incredibly difficult - and not always in a good way.

You'll have to play the game through many, many times before you see the end, because it has a tendency to cut your life short.

Unfortunately, this can become a bit of a pain after a while, since there's no way to quickly restart from where you were up to, or reclaim your previous stuff. You're always thrown back to the start of the story, and have to do many of the same actions all over again.

And This Is Not a Test isn't just tricky - it's also very unfair at times, killing you off for daring to choose the obvious "safe" option.

It would also be great if the game remembered all the different ways that you had died, and stored them somewhere for you to cycle through.

But This Is Not a Test is a good start. With a few tweaks here and there it could have been great, and the sequel has every chance of blowing us away.

This Is Not a Test: A Post-Apocalyptic Prequel

Although we'd like better replay options, This Is Not a Test is well presented and offers plenty of interesting story-based choices
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.