HoloVista review – a dark and dazzling critique of social media

As a super nerdy writer, the thing that I seek out most in games these days is quality writing, regardless of my own abilities. Some of the most interesting work in recent years has come from iOS games, particularly as they try to imitate the casual flow of instant messaging. One notable favourite of mine is Guildlings, a cutesy-looking adventure game that animates conversations brilliantly.

HoloVista takes this approachable nature to a whole new level. You play as Carmen, with your iOS device acting as the protagonist’s personal phone, communicating with friends and family through messages and social media. Carmen’s an aspiring architect who’s finally grabbed a rung on the career ladder at a prestigious but secretive design firm.

The vapourwave aesthetic of this world is incredible, from bright neon to deep pastel colours. However, almost nothing is in motion in the game except for you and your words. The action is propelled by what you capture around you using your phone’s camera, whether it’s your apartment bedroom or in the fancy foyer waiting for your job interview. These images are then shared and discussed, either passively or in depth, with your friends and dear sister Inez.

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