Ten years ago, you introduced two friends of yours to each other: Grace and Trip. They got together and married. After years of not seeing either of them, Trip calls you over the telephone and asks you over to their apartment for a visit.
That's pretty much the whole story. In this video game developed by independent studio Procedural Arts, you play as yourself visiting friends. And the friends are not exactly happy with each other.
The main selling point of this video game (well, "selling point" is the wrong term, since it's Freeware) is Grace's and Trip's artificial intelligence. The player communicates with them through simple body language and by typing messages. Though they do occasionally get, er, confused if you say something they do not understand, they comprehend English remarkably well for video game characters.
Gameplay is extraordinarily simple: You move with the arrow keys, interact with objects (or physically with Grace or Trip) by left-clicking on them, and can talk at any time simply by typing something.
Façade can be downloaded at interactivestory.net.
- Artificial Stupidity: From this video:
Player: Someone get me a bandage!
Grace: I'm so tired of looking at this god awful work table. Maybe if I replaced it with um...
- It's apparently possible to get the best ending by being a nonsense-spouting obnoxious jerkass.
- As You Know: "So, ten years ago, that's when you introduced us, right?" Say "No" for a good laugh.
- Backstory: Unfolds a little bit at a time.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Trip and Grace sure have their moral priorities in a twist. Being a Bar-tender for a bar in the slums is apparently a terrible thing. It's often hard to tell who the player should side with (and they force you to choose at least twice in every playthrough) when they don't seem to have any rational system of logic to dictate what they think constitutes appropriate behavior, for both you and themselves.
- Disproportionate Retribution: You can get kicked out for, among other things, sitting still for too long, moving around too much, or saying the word "melon" or any word containing it. But flat-out telling Trip and Grace to kill themselves (or each other) will just merit some uncomfortable banter.
- Dummied Out: The game's texture files include an ashtray and a generic "drink" photograph, neither of which appear in the apartment.
- Easter Egg: Trip and Grace seem to have a crippling phobia of melons.
- It turns out that "melon" or "melons" is flagged as a synonym for breasts, which is why they react so badly to it. This presents its own conundrums.
- Game Mod: The games textures and sprites for pictures/painting/props/skylines are in common graphic formats, and easy to open and edit. Many YouTube videos demonstrate graphical hacks, such as the magic 8-ball being turned into Chris Hansen, the skyline from the window being set on fire, etc.
- Gay Option: No matter what gender your character is, you can still flirt with either Grace or Trip. Or both.
- Guide Dang It: There is a “good” ending where you save Grace and Trip’s marriage, but it is extremely difficult to figure out. You can buy a guide from Procedural Art for US$5.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: Done in an odd way. The player doesn't type in a name, but instead selects one from a list, which will then be awkwardly spliced into Trip and Grace's fully voice-acted dialogue.
- Intangible Man Trip and Grace have no respect for the walls, or sometimes even furniture; they walk straight through them without a second thought when necessary.
- It's a Wonderful Failure
- Let's Play: A common source. Here's one by Raocow, for example.
- Love Triangle: We would put in a spoiler box, but there are only three characters, so you can guess who is involved.
- The Masochism Tango
- Match Maker Quest: The player is supposed to fill the role of informal marriage counselor.
- Multiple Endings: You can either get kicked out by Trip, get Trip or Grace leave, successfully save their marriage, leave with Trip and Grace telling they're ok while they're not, or leave the apartment before any of the previous possibilities happen. There are multiple ways to get the same ending.
- Or you can do this to get the door slammed in your face before you even get a chance to enter.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The two people you hooked up are unhappy with their marriage.
- Relationship Values
- Sprite Polygon Mix: Various things around the apartment are obviously sprites.
- Speed Run: You can end the game in record time by turning around and hitting the elevator button without even knocking on Trip's door. If that feels too much like a cop-out, you can cause the game to end in a real hurry by saying something Trip doesn't like (say, "melons") when he opens the door for you.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Feel free to completely ruin Grace's and Trip’s lives.
- You Lose At Zero Trust: When Trip gets upset enough at you, he kicks you out of the apartment, causing a game-over.