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Hobson's Choice (Browser)

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Platform
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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Description

It's often said that civilization is only three square meals away from anarchy and riots, and this game opens with a similar premise: that a typical insurance-less American labourer is only one work-related injury away from unemployment and homelessness. The player's task: to steer a course away from the recurring pitfalls of life on the streets in the hopes of, eventually, raising oneself up and out of them, back into the life of a functional and productive citizen.

This is accomplished through selecting from multiple-choice options offered to the player. Not all the choices are appealing, and sometimes they are reduced down to a single option, bringing to mind the original sense of a Hobson's Choice: opting to either accept or reject an offer, without any input into alternate offers or compromises.

Presumably unfamiliar situations the privileged computer-owning player will be confronted with include shelters, homeless encampments, prevailing upon friends and family, living out of one's car, seeking day labour, prison, and the byzantine bureaucracy of the welfare system. Gameplay is deliberately repetitive and arbitrary, with similar actions not always leading to the same results, either, depending on one's perspective, encouraging persistence and hope or reaffirming the frustrating powerlessness of being caught in the grind.

Screenshots

Hobson's Choice Browser I can't really see how my actions led to this outcome.
Hobson's Choice Browser It was worth a shot (Vincentian Formation version)
Hobson's Choice Browser Not my best moment (Vincentian Formation version)
Hobson's Choice Browser Well, it's a start.

Alternate Titles

  • "Hobson's Choice: The Game You Just Can't Leave" -- Tag-lined title

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Pseudo_Intellectual (44554) added Hobson's Choice (Browser) on Aug 11, 2008