Looking for a game that won’t take too much of your time? Why not try That Cheap and Sacred Thing (TCAST)?
TCAST is a short, drama + sci-fi kinectic novel that made me cry. I’ve never cried playing any games – but hey, look, here I am crying in front of the computer. I recommend this to everyone out there, because it is a great kinetic novel that evokes a lot of emotion, and provokes a lot of thought. In addition, TCAST explores themes like robots (androids, in this case), and their relationship with us humans. Despite taking only less than an hour to complete, I thoroughly enjoyed every part of TCAST.
It’s a short game so I shall just touch the surface and not delve into the details lest I spoil it for you.
The game is set in a world with humans living together with androids. Androids are so intensively developed to the extent that there’s a robot for almost everything. They could pretty much do anything – from housekeeping to babysitting, there are even androids manufactured to protect you, as well as some manufactured to satisfy your *cough* desires *cough*. Now, now, let’s not be mean and forget that there’s always robots for lonely people.
The story follows Autumn, a girl that has went through quite a lot of drama in her life. When she was younger, she had an android babysitter/playmate named Elly, in which she was extremely close to. They treated each other like best friends. No, I should correct my statement – they were best friends, and they still are, although Elly is not physically with Autumn. It was, at times, difficult for me to believe that Elly was actually an android.
Autumn hasn’t quite forgotten Elly even after the passing of time. Somehow, the strong friendship they shared could never be replaced. Elly, in Autumn’s heart, could never be replaced. Autumn has never had a another android after Elly.
On Autumn’s birthday (which also happens to be Autumn and Elly’s Best Friend Anniversary), after the party and celebrations, her cheeky friends presented her with a 24-hour AmorBot – basically a robot that satisfies your sexual desires. Although Autumn does not have any interest in AmorBots, she agrees to spending a simple 24 hours with the AmorBot so her friends’ money wouldn’t go to waste. AmorBots are expensive, after all. Not to forget that it’s impolite to refuse a present given by your friends.
So meet Jude, the AmorBot. He’s my favourite character. 😀
Such a badass. 😉
My summary of the story shall abruptly end here. If I proceed to explain the story any further, I’d be telling you the entire story and spoiling everything. I wouldn’t want to do so as I want you to enjoy and appreciate this visual novel to the fullest!
Are you wondering what will happen between Autumn and Jude (don’t worry there’s no explicit scenes here)? Or perhaps suspecting why Elly is separated from Autumn in the first place? Well then, it is only logical for you to play the game right now!
Here’s a brief glance at some of the other characters:
Now for my overflowing thoughts of the game 😀 :
TCAST wasn’t your on-the-surface-romance, in my opinion, the romance felt really deep. There was ambiguity, there was sacrifice – basically the romance part of TCAST felt absolutely realistic, and definitely not your usual superficial romance. As for the drama part, I must say the sequence of events was well planned and organised, such as the timely inclusion of flashbacks. The drama didn’t feel exaggerated, and I could pretty much connect with every character in TCAST (hence my tissues).
I admired how not everything was explained, leaving you to explore the many possibilities by yourself, but yet the feeling of you “hanging there aimlessly after everything ends” never came. There was a good balance of what was exposed, and what was kept in the dark. That’s definitely something worth applauding.
Lastly, the art was great – I was really impressed by the CGs. The art style may not be your usual art style and may not even appeal to you, but they bring across what they should bring across effectively.
You know what, let’s just say that I really liked TCAST. 🙂