reviewed A Mortician's Tale
While playing through some longer RPGs, I longed for a short little 'snack' in between. A Mortician's Tale looked like the ideal candidate thanks to its short run time (30 minutes of my 2 hours with this game I have optionally spent with its rendition of Minesweeper) and its interesting theme.
In this game you play Charlie, who joins a family-owned funeral home as a Mortician. The game spans about a year and you 'spawn' once a month or two, go on your computer to read some optional e-mails from colleagues, friends and prior 'customers', and also to see the mandatory e-mail that tells you what your task for the day is. You either ready bodies for closed-casket (you just have to clean them) or open-casket funerals (much more tasks involved) or you cremate them, based on the families wishes.
These tasks are rather simple and each step is carefully explained every time, so the goal is not to do it right, it's just to do it.
I know nothing about funeral homes, so I appreciated the game for showing me how they operate, how different requests are handled, about the environmental effects of embalming versus green burials, and about corporations that exploit both employees and customers even in this business.
Apart from that however, the game doesn't really manage to be emotionally impactful regarding its main character, which has no dialogue lines during the game. Anything she feels and thinks about her job, about how she handles it and anything else that could bring the players closer to her, doesn't exist, which I thought was a shame.
So while I appreciated the game for its topic, it doesn't succeed in being more than a tutorial/showcase for the 'industry', and I'm not sure if there was any intent to do anything beyond that.
Reviewed on Jan 21, 2023