Eliza (2019) is an interactive narrative where you play Evelyn, a young woman burnt out from the pressures of a high-tech job. She now works for a virtual counselling service called Eliza, that guides counsellors to provide the ideal response to patients.
As you play, you decide whether to stick to the script provided by the Eliza system or to offer your own responses. These choices don't hugely affect the progression of the narrative although there are different endings. The ending themselves are powerful and challenge the player to adjust assumptions about different characters. A nice touch is being able to go back at the end of the game and make different choices.
Running through the game are well written and deeply developed characters, each of who need counselling and therapy support. Alongside this are moral questions about the efficacy of the Eliza technological recording and monitoring these deepest thoughts and potentially replacing human therapists.
As this plays out, our character Evelyn reconnects with people from her past and gets to know the ordinary people of Seattle. "As she begins to question everything about her past life and future purpose in the world, it becomes clear she must confront the turmoil and darkness inside."
This is one of a series of games by a developer called Zachtronics. He makes these games free for use in schools and education
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Eliza 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 6 months ago.