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Video Game / Left on Read

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Don't wait.
It’s March of 2020; you were just sent home from college because of the coronavirus, you have a few small regrets, mainly not telling someone how you really feel.
Weston Bell-Geddes
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Left on Read is a 2020 Interactive Fiction Indie Game developed by Weston Bell-Geddes. The game takes place during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, where you're talking to your college crush via text message during the quarantine. The game allows you to make choices as to what text messages you will send, thus impacting the direction of the story.

There are some platforming elements in the game as you have to jump on the message you want to send to your crush, but ultimately the game is more about the conversations and the choices you make. The game takes place entirely in the user interface of a phone's messaging app, similar to the likes of Digital: A Love Story and Emily Is Away.

You can download the game for free on Steam or on itch.io.

You can also visit the official website here.


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Left On Read provides examples of:

  • Dialogue Tree: You are given a handful of options of text messages to send in many situations.
  • Fake Pregnancy: When the protagonist's crush announces her pregnancy, he'll be understandably surprised, but she only did it for an April Fool's prank.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Many times during a conversation the player will type out what he really wants to say to his crush, but will quickly backspace it and type a much safer response. This even happens when the option to ask her out is present among the choices, and choosing it will have the protagonist backpedaling on it, anyway.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: The protagonist tries asking his crush out through text, hoping to establish an LDR with her during quarantine.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The game was released in May 2020, but takes place all the way up to August 2020.
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  • Perverse Sexual Lust: In-Universe. If the protagonist says that sci-fi movies are his favorite, he'll say that EVE is "hot", only to backtrack and say that WALL-E is his favorite childhood movie instead.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Once you beat the game, you unlock Realism Mode, where you have to wait in real time for your crush to reply to your messages. This takes hours.

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