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Photopia is a story within a story, perhaps yet within a story. You are Wendy Mackaye, first female astronaut on the Red Planet. Or, perhaps you're Alison's father, explaining astrophysics and element formation to her. Maybe you're Mr. Mackaye, driving Alison back home after she babysat your daughter. Each of the stories are separate but they're all joined together and make up the whole of Photopia.
The game is a text-based adventure. Photopia tells Alison's story through the points of view of the people around her. You can interact with the game through its parser by typing in commands for the person whose point of view you're currently sharing.
There is no score, so your goal is to complete the game by successfully moving through all the scenarios. The game does not allow you to talk to characters about topics of your choice or give them commands. Instead, you talk to the character and then choose from a numbered list of topics provided.
This freeware game has a color scheme that can be turned on at the beginning of the game. Each section has a default foreground and background color scheme that complements the scenario.
Created by Adam Cadre, the game is one of interactive fiction where you type commands (verb/prepositions/nouns) at the prompt. Shortcut commands are also available. Photopia won the 1998 Interactive Fiction Competition and took the 1998 XYZZY Awards for Best Writing and Best Story. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide