Alternate Endings is an absolutely fantastic game. It’s the story of Russell, a low-level security guard who wants to become a real cop someday. When a murder occurs in the sound stage he’s protecting, he finally gets the chance to prove his worth by catching the murderer himself.
This is an FMV game, which means that 99% of what you see is pre-recorded video footage. Most of the video clips are 3-5 minutes. After you see a clip, you get to decide what Russell should do. For example, your first choice is to either “interrogate the suspects” or “look for the suspect who is absent.” You get a different video depending on which on you pick.
And by “different video,” I mean “different video.” Usually when games let you pick one of two options, the game is pretty much the same, no matter which option you pick. In this game, your choices completely change the plot. There are sixteen pathways, leading to five different endings, each one with a different murderer. It’s legitimately interesting to replay the game several times, in order to see all the alternate endings.
The game isn’t particularly long. Your typical playthrough lasts about twenty minutes, and it contains four or five choices. All in all, there are only 15 unique scenes in this game (unless I’m counting wrong). This adds up to an hour of footage. If you’re good (or if you use a walkthrough), you can get through the entire game relatively quickly.
What makes this a good FMV game? Really, the same things that would make anything a good FMV game: good graphics, a good script, and decent acting.
The graphics are full HD quality. I’m not sure you can get much better than that. The only downside is the game takes up a lot of room on your iPad as a result.
The writing is also good. Admittedly, the plot isn’t very deep, but there are one or two nice plot twists. Best of all, in my opinion, the script is consistently funny. The crazy cast of characters spends a lot of time getting up to ridiculous antics. I’m sure that, in real life, nobody ever thinks, “Hey, one of my co-workers was killed tonight. Time for me to be wacky!”, but it works here.
The best part about the game is the acting. The acting is pretty much perfect, all across the board. That’s because the cast members are all professional actors, who have appeared in projects such as Spider-Man 2, Walker Texas Ranger and of course, Hannah Montana. Only one cast member does not have previous acting experience, and trust me, if you play the game yourself, you’ll know who I’m talking about. Everyone else though is a professional actor, working on a professional soundstage, so the entire game comes off as being of professional quality.
In the end, Alternate Endings is probably the best FMV game for the iOS. OK, true: There are only two others. But this one could be the best. It’s definitely in the top three, that’s for sure.