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Penrose

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Penrose (2020) is a text adventure, where you not only read the story and choose its next step but can go back into the text to change it in all sorts of mind-bending ways. As the developer describes it, "Penrose is a non-linear narrative adventure game about time, choice, and the nature of obsession."

It starts as a story about descending into an unknown building. But then you notice that some words are highlighted. You can select these and choose to change the word. For example, you find a generator in the building. But you can change the text so that it is either on or off. One word means there is no light while the other word means there will be. But if you change the word to on, there are also then alarm systems you have to navigate later in the text.

This tweaking of the text is a bit like pulling at the frayed edge of a tapestry. You pull at it, not realising what unintended consequences it might lead to. As the story unravels before you, you are led back and forth through the text in unexpected and interrelated ways.

You also get to see the same event from a different perspective of each character. This adds more layers to consider when changing key elements of the text. It also offers more insight into what is really going on in the story as you hear their differing inner monologues.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Penrose 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 4 weeks ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to Penrose. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Brain Game and Narrative game with Adventure and Creative elements. This is a single-player game.

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 4 hours and 5 hours to complete. Although this may take longer depending on reading time and how much back and forth you do between characters and words.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for mild swearing.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for mild violence and mild language.
12+ on the Apple App Store for Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence, Profanity or Crude Humour, Horror/Fear Themes, Cartoon/Fantasy Violence, Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References, Mature/Suggestive Themes

Skill Level

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Being a game about reading and changing words, this doesn't appeal that much to very young players (unless they really love reading). But those who get over this hurdle find a game that rewards lateral thinking and the ability to solve narrative puzzles inventively.

CostsCosts

Penrose usually costs £0 to £4.29. 

Penrose

Steam Store PC £4.29
Steam Store Mac £4.29
Android Store Android £0.69
Web Free
App Store iOS Free
Android Store Android Free
This game is free to play. There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
 
You can play about half the game for free via web browser and then finish for about $1/£1 on Apple or Android. On the apps you can select from the start from demo option. 
 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/09/2020

Price: Free

Out Now: Android, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Brain Game, Narrative (Adventure and Creative)

Accessibility: 19 features

Components: 2D Side-On and Text

Developer: Double Speak Game (@DoubleSpeakGame)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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