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Spoiler free review: I Woke Up is a powerful statement, and it is short enough to fully digest in 30 minutes or less. I would recommend it to anyone. 8/10, beautiful art piece.


Critique: 

Please do not read this unless you have played the game, or do not care to. This is intended to be used as help for those who might be confused by the story, and just general discussion of this interesting game.


Story: Here's my interpretation, backed up by some points in the story that I will bring up accordingly. I hope it isn't too obvious. I Woke Up presents itself as a story about a man or woman that the player wakes up next to. It becomes quickly apparent, however, that the man or woman in this story isn't a person. It's a drug that the player keeps using. Every ending points to this conclusion, and several dialogue choices in between.  You can flat out refuse the drug after your "Second Time" by choosing the harshest options and put it out of your mind. Refusing to "see your lover" again leads to the quickest game over. This was the second ending that I got. 

You can also refuse the drug after several encounters. The first time is when you meet in the street and decide not to get a drink or skip the pleasantries and go to your house. After this encounter, you start feeling sluggish. It doesn't feel good anymore. This confused me on my first play-through because I wasn't in the right mindset. It took me getting every ending to fully contextualize all of it. These are all symptoms of addiction, and more specifically substance abuse. I can see how some people might disagree here, however. 

The easiest ending is the break up. You start to feel withdrawal symptoms and fight them off, keeping the "lover" out of your mind. If you show a photo to your best friend, they'll tell you that there isn't a girl in the photo.

The junkie ending shut the case for me on this. If you spend time with the lover over and over, but then decide that it's not right for you, they'll fight you. They'll tell you that it's instinct that you're going against. That you need them. You have to keep resisting, and it perfectly mirrors drug abuse. 

Gameplay: Like the lover, I found myself unable to put down the game until I worked it out in my head, and it still grips me. Story-driven games with choices always hook me in. However, there aren't many choices in the game that matter overall. This might be part of the design. What I mean by this is that there are many dialogue options, but the responses are the same. This makes sense for a game of this size, but on repeat it started to feel like I had to trudge through the story. Again, given the themes that I believe are present this could be what the author intended. 

Art Style: The art style of this game is JAW-DROPPING. Especially for an indie game like this. I want to keep an eye on this developer because I feel that they have a great future ahead of them. The story, art style, and sound design all came together to form a hair-raising, eerie experience. 

8/10 , Beautiful art piece.