Portal is a compelling puzzle game with a strong narrative thread throughout. There is direct narration in the form of GLaDOS as well as embedded narrative in the scenery, that slowly reveals that trusting GLaDOS might not be the smartest idea. In terms of a distinguishing mechanic, I believe that the brilliant use of architecture contributes heavily to the success of the Portal franchise. Players are allowed to experience the main type of fun in Portal — challenge — because the architecture seamlessly provides context and clues as to how puzzles should be solved. The puzzle is mapped onto the…


Life is Strange uses many narrative techniques to create a sense of mystery. The main technique in this game is direct narration, which comes in the form of the protagonist’s inner thoughts and her private journal. There is some embedded narrative elements, such as missing person posters in the school, and a few notes and details found in the protagonist’s room; but overall, direct narration dominates and guides the narrative. The game also allows players to to create a bit of their own emergent narrative, as the protagonist is able to rewind time and replay certain interaction loops multiple times…

Sydney Jones

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