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Video Game / The Act

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The Act is an interactive movie in which you control Edgar, who is cleaning the windows of a local hospital along with with his less competent brother, Wally. The plot kicks off when Wally decides to take a nap on one of the hospital beds, where the doctors mistake him for a patient who's scheduled for a brain transplant. You must help Edgar get into the hospital and save his brother, all while vying for the attention of the lovely nurse Sylvia.

The player must guide Edgar through various scenes using a simple control scheme of turning a rotary knob left or right (as in the arcade version) or swiping left and right on an electronic device (on the iOS ports). Depending on the direction, Edgar's emotions or physical actions will vary. The first scene, for example, has Edgar daydreaming about wooing Sylvia in a fancy restaurant. Moving to the right makes Edgar get bold, while going to the left makes him more shy. If the player fails to make Edgar behave correctly, they will lose one of three lives (measured by clapboards), and the scene will start over for another try. With no voice acting, the game mainly relies on the characters' body language as hints for the player to know if they're doing something right or wrong.

The Act was initially released by publisher Cecropia as an arcade game, with later plans to release it to computers and video game consoles. Unfortunately, despite positive reception, in late 2007 Cecropia's founder Omar Khudari announced that he was closing the company, citing a lack of publisher interest. Years later, another company named React Entertainment was formed to realize Khudari's original goal and published the game for Apple devices in March 2013. However, the game ended up being pulled from the App Store in early 2015, with React Entertainment closing in the process. Since then, the original arcade version (released in both dedicated and kit form) is highly sought after by collectors.


This series provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Time Period: While developed in 2007, the game appears to be set in the mid-20th century, given the city's brownstone appearance, the suspenders of Edgar and Wally, the early Casablanca homage, the old-fashioned cigar of Edgar's boss, and Sylvia's Naughty Nurse Outfit (which, while never accurate to real life, closely resembles pinup images of the time period). However, the security guard and the rest of the hospital staff aside from the nurses seem to be wearing much more modern clothes, and Sylvia is wearing a modern-style wristwatch.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Gets invoked whenever the player fails a scene by scaring off Sylvia. However, in the ending, Sylvia, in response to Edgar's gesture of giving her a flower, gives him the flower back as a sign of acceptance. This might suggest a friendship, but nothing indicates that they develop a romantic relationship.
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  • Fat and Skinny: Edgar and Wally, obviously.
  • Foreshadowing: When trying to fit in with the doctors, sliding too far to the left will cause Edgar to attack the leftmost doctor. Later on, it turns out that doctor is a Jerkass to Sylvia.
  • Hospital Hottie: In the form Of Sylvia.
  • Mean Boss: Edgar's boss will smack him off the platform if he doesn't think Edgar (or Wally) is doing his job.
  • Never Mess with Granny: In the hallway chase scene, you'll encounter a feeble old man with glasses who does kung-fu moves upon noticing you barreling right by him.
  • No Name Given: Due to the silent movie nature of the game, the only way you can know any character's name is through supplemental material on the website. While most of the characters do have canon names, the Security Guard is nameless despite being the closest thing the plot has to a main antagonist.
  • Off-Model: On the main menu and the front page of the game's website, Sylvia's hair, which is normally brown, is colored tyrian purple and drawn shorter.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Edgar masquerades as a doctor to sneak into the hospital. How does he accomplish this? By wearing a spare lab coat from a laundry truck. It works perfectly, up until he is forced to reveal his true identity to Silvia after saving his choking boss, and is subsequently hauled off by the security guard.
  • Shout-Out: The first scene, as shown in the page image, is a clear homage to the film Casablanca.
  • The Chase: The second-to-last stage of the game plays out like this, with Edgar rushing his brother Wally on an operating table (who's mistaken to be a brain transplant patient) whilst being chased by the security guard, surgeons, and various doctors and patients down the winding hospital hallways.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: You don't know what left and right represents in each scene until you experiment and most likely lose a life, though it's usually set up so that whatever you do will literally move you left and right.
  • When Elders Attack: There's two separate occasions in the hallway chase scene in which you'll have to dodge elderly men taking a swing at you with their canes.
  • Written Sound Effect: Crashing into something during the hallway chase scene will show you a written sound effect in an action bubble like "BOOM!", "WHAMM!" and "KA BLAAM!" (besides decking you one life).
  • X-Ray Sparks: This happens to poor Edgar if, during the hallway chase scene, you fail to dodge some hanging electrical wires from the ceiling.