DescriptionIn this game, the player heads a small team of five quarantine agents aboard an interstellar starship, the Jessica, awoken from cryosleep a couple of weeks prior to arrival at the end of a 31-light-year journey to process thousands of frozen colonists for inappropriate, antisocial and outlawed information, attitudes and materials. Earth scientists finally having found a planet suitable for human habitation, Niah (short for "Needle In A Haystack"), they hope to employ memetic eugenics so as to allow humanity's colonies to avoid the strife and sectarianism that held back terrestrial society for so long. Pre-boarding screening has weeded out most problematic cases, but sometimes new information comes to light prior to landing. On this voyage, a historian is found to be transporting cultural contraband - artefacts making reference to capitalism, slavery and war; other passengers have family connections to forbidden political movements or identity discrepancies. The player makes the decisions how and how severely to adhere to their work guidelines for cultural hygiene.
Just prior to landing on Niah, the plot thickens, delaying the team's ability to conclude their contract, be decommissioned and melt into the general colonist intake population. Further investigation is called for planetside, and the starship's flamboyant and eccentric owner, Gilles Debussy, enters the picture. As time passes, one mystery is replaced by another, a distress call from the Persephone orbiting nearby Hadley's World, and the interstellar intrigue continues.
As is standard for Choice of Games offerings, player input is solicited through selection of options presented -- in an early flashback sequence to the job interview, the player gets to define their agent's motivations and approach in this fashion; after the options are picked, numbers are crunched and game output rolls out as long textual passages, interspersed with further options.
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Related Web Sites
- Planetary Quarantine (official website)