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Silicon Karma Online
SKO 1

That's what we're trying to avoid.
VRMMO Information
Developer Indepenn Dextera (Whizad)
Release Date 30 September 2028
Genre Sandbox
Logic Puzzle
Whodunit
Usable Hardware NerveGear, Amusphere, Halcyisphere


Overview

Released by Indepenn Dextera about a year and a half after Xhilatren, this second game in the Xhilatren cycle is also a proof-of-concept. The company described the game as "An exploration of the limits of graphic engines and computer-generated logic puzzles. No combat." in an attempt to warn users that it would not contain rpg-style elements.

Many players of Xhilatren converted to Silicon Karma the day it was released. Most regretted that decision, as the gameplay is extremely boring unless you are playing the game because of the slow, logical gameplay.

Reviews from players include:

  • "Graphics just as good as the last game, but the slow pacing will deter most players." - three stars
  • "What the hell is this? Not even combat." - one star
  • "Very original idea, but the repetitive nature makes it no fun after the first go-around." - two stars
  • "I always loved logic puzzles, and this game is the greatest one yet." - five stars
  • "It's good that the graphics are so lifelike; otherwise it would be a pain spending so much time in one place during gameplay." - three stars

Having made another proof-of-concept game getting good reviews from the players who understood the point, the company decided it was time to release a "real" RPG for the gaming community to judge. Skartran was released five months later.

Gameplay

The game itself centers around the seventeen noble families who basically rule the world. Recently, a mad scientist hell-bent on exacting revenge for the injustices the nobles have allowed to run rampant trapped the families inside their homes by the use of magic, captured one member of each household, cloned them, and sent both the original and the clone back to their home. He then released a statement: each clone possesses all the memories of the original, and neither knows which is which. Each clone has a limited lifespan, and when they expire they will self-destruct violently, killing everyone in their household.

The families are faced with a dilemma: allow themselves to die when the clone expires, or give up the power and influence they have held for generations. All seventeen of the families have signed a document stating that if the general population (the players, since the NPCs are no help) can determine which member of at least eleven of the houses is the clone and isolate them before they explode, again using magic, then they will return governance to the people.

While the time of expiration is unknown, the order of expiration is known, so the players know which house to concentrate on and when. The only way to determine which is the clone is to ask a series of questions which only the original would know the answers to until the clone, whose brain will gradually deteriorate, losing memory as it does, answers incorrectly.

That in itself seems simple enough, except the only way for players to figure out what the correct answers are is to solve logic puzzles hidden throughout each house; by the same magic that imprisoned them, the other family members are prevented from speaking to the players about the person's past.

Gallery

Trivia

The monotonous, slow gameplay caused many players to become disenchanted with the company. However, the quick release of the next game and the high reviews it received won most of those players back.

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