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Review: Impostor Factory Takes You Through a Lifetime

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Impostor Factory review

Impostor Factory opens like any good murder mystery should. It’s a dreary afternoon, complete with rain and an eerie sense that something’s not right. The main character Quincey enters a large mansion with the perfect horror backdrop. It’s situated on large grounds with a dilapidated and seemingly abandoned exterior. Upon entering the house, two odd assistants greet Quincey at the door. There’s a distinct feeling that some details are missing.

Impostor Factory doesn’t give players a lot to work with. Its most extravagant feature is a fast paced walk, bound to the shift key. It works, though. As the third game in the series that began with To Moon, it is still deeply invested in narratives about memories and the lengths people will go to preserve and change them. That becomes the games strongest point, and its execution is almost flawless.

Imposter Factory review

I love a murder mystery. But what I love even more is a deep dive into a person’s history told through their memories. Yes, that’s specific. I’ve played a few games about love and loss that take place all within the mind of a singular character. It’s a narrative trope that lends itself to emotionality, as well as the understanding that things simply cannot be what they seem. Memories are fickle and we can be biased with our interpretations. With Impostor Factory, though, you take on the role of someone moving through another person’s memories. You become a passerby to someone else’s life.

Not long after Quincey realizes he’s stuck in a time loop, someone decides to reveal the truth to him. Her name is Linri, and he’s actually moving through a simulation of her creation. What follows is a beautiful journey through Linri’s life. It showcases her difficulties with a chronic illness and her struggles balancing work, love, and health.

The narrative never felt like it was trying to throw a lesson in your face. However, the main portion of the story is often drenched in sentimentality and melancholy. I genuinely enjoyed my time with the game, but a lot of what I loved about the story also exhausted me. Though I understand the necessity of the humor woven throughout, the moments of levity felt out of place.

Imposter Factory review

On the technical side of things, it’s important for me to note that an issue I have when playing games is that I develop sensory overload very easily. Loud or busy sounds, flashing images, and a lot of movement put a real strain on me. So naturally, having the ability to go into a game’s settings and fiddle around could be the difference between a 30 minute play session and a multiple hour one. Impostor Factory doesn’t give you those options. As a point and click, a lot of those options are mostly unnecessary, except for sound. The sound mixing and sound quality in the game was impossible to deal with. In the grand scheme, that seems like a smaller issue, but it still affected my time with the game.

The graphics in this game are just as simple, but have moments where they truly stand out. Especially with how serene, but unsettling wide open spaces feel. Similarly, the soundtrack is the perfect backdrop to the story. It gently leads you through the life of Linri. From her time as a child dreaming of becoming a star in the sky to an adult dedicated to science and figuring out the unknown, the music makes you feel like you’re listening to an old music box.

Freebird Games Quincy

A lot of moments in the game fully rely on these two elements. Parts where all I did was walk through dialogue-less memories were the most touching moments in the game. The soundtrack and small, snapshot-like images provided all the emotional context needed to understand the ongoing narrative.

Impostor Factory is a surprisingly beautiful game that questions what it means to have a meaningful life. It tells a cyclical narrative that still manages to feel honest and emotionally raw. It works best if you go into it with as little information as possible, so I won’t say much more than that on how the story unfolds. It is a bit predictable and slow moving. Still it tells incredibly competent story that surprised me with how evocative it was. In the end, the bits of sc-fi and the explanation of an AI-driven time loop were the perfect additions to a game so deeply entrenched in human emotion. Impostor Factory knows what it’s about and delivers on that point.

Impostor Factory is the third, standalone game within the same universe as To Moon and Finding Paradise. It’s currently available for PCs through Steam.

Impostor Factory

8

Impostor Factory begins as a murder mystery but evolves into a time loop narrative about living a meaningful life. Following Quincey and Linri through memories of the past, the games takes on the theme of it's To Moon predecessors and discusses what makes a memory.

Food For Thought
  • While the plotlines become a bit too heavy, the simplicity of the soundtrack and graphics do a lot of the work to manage the emotionality of the story.
  • Not every question will be answered by the end of the game, as it's left intentionally open. The otherworldly feeling lingers.
  • Settings and options are inconveniently missing from this game, so a lot of work will have to be done on your part to make it accessible.
    If you want to know more, check out Siliconera's review guide.
    Dani Maddox
    Dani is a writer and podcaster from the East Coast who cared about games enough to make a career out of analyzing and playing them. If she isn't waxing poetic about the latest indie release, you can always find her knee-deep in a sleuthing RPG.