Review: Elegy for a Dead World

Elegy For A Dead World CAPlatform: PC/Mac/Linux

Developer: Dejobaan Games

Publisher: Dejobaan Games

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: N/A

Official Site

Score: A- (90%)


Whether or not you like to write, there’s an excellent chance that you love storytelling in one way or another. Dejobaan Games’ excellent Elegy for a Dead World is a game about writing that’s not just for writers and to some “gamers” out there, isn’t really a videogame in the traditional sense. There are no scores tallied, no bad guys to dispatch, and only three relatively small and short themed planets to explore. But it’s neither the journey nor the destination that’s the selling point here.

elegy_ks_gif The game encourages you to sit down, unhook your brain from its box and let your fingers do the talking as you write anything you wish. Yes, there are numerous writing prompts you can use and there’s great fun in pretending to speak in another voice as some of the prompts suggest. But for some players, the experience of free-styling their way through each world and sharing their stories with others will be the big draw… Continue reading

Elegy for a Dead World Out Now: Creative, Genius.


As I noted last week before I even got a review code, Dejobaan Games’ Elegy for a Dead World is probably a game that will get non-gamers to play it. After firing up the game last night and taking it for a brief spin, let’s just say that it’s everything I thought and then some. I’ll save the longer words and high praise for the full review, but this may be the surest cure for a case of “writer’s block” you’ll ever see. Just for kicks, here’s a list of the first writing prompts I saw when I chose a world to explore:

The Proud History of a Dead World
Freeform Writing
Grammar Workshop 101
Ozmandias by Percy Shelly
The Destroyer of Worlds
I Thought ___ But You ___
Ten Rhyming Couplets
Bad Poetry You Wrote on the Bus
The Diary of a Young Girl

Other than Freeform Writing, each prompt has a brief description of what’s required. I did a world and at the end, was prompted to edit or share my work. I chose not to share it, but was surprised to see a story from someone else to read waiting for me on a new screen. Nice. The game not only encourages you to write, but to read and rate other works submitted by players. Things are really going to get interesting now. I just hope I have time to read what’s looking like a growing library of short stories, poems and other writing exercises…

Back in a bit with a full review.

Elegy for a Dead World: Do You Have The Write Stuff?


I know of a few people who hate the act of writing and don’t go near videogames, yet happen to be big fans of fantasy and science fiction. I also know a few writers who don’t much like those genres and aren’t gamers, so it’s always tricky talking to them about games I think might change their minds a tiny bit. When I got a note today from Dejobaan Games about checking out their upcoming adventure game Elegy for a Dead World and watched the video above, every light bulb in my head went off at once (ouch!). I think I’ve found my gateway game, ladies and gents. As you can see, the game encourages its players to write about what they see onscreen in a manner somewhat like PC text adventure games back in the 80’s.


Or, to be a bit more precise:

In Elegy for a Dead World, you travel to distant planets and create stories about the people who once lived there.

Three portals have opened to uncharted worlds. Earth has sent a team of explorers to investigate them, but after an accident, you are the sole survivor.

Your mission remains the same: survey these worlds and write the only accounts of them that outsiders will ever know.

The game will have three worlds to explore, all based on the works of British Romantic Era poets:

Shelley’s World, based on Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Byron’s World, based on Darkness by Lord Byron
Keats’ World, based on When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be by John Keats


As you explore the landscapes, writing prompts will appear onscreen guiding you to write about objects you come across in any way you see fit. It seems that some prompts will ask for certain styles of writing while others will be free form assignments. The possibilities for creative freedom are boundless and it seems that this game may also make a handy tool to inspire non-writers to get their brains percolating. The game itself as well as what each player creates are only the beginning of the adventure. Dejobaan is hoping players will want to share their unique stories with others. There’s an option to have your words put into print using a few online book printing services or users can log into the Steam Workshop to read others’ tales and share their own. One of the best things about the game that makes it easy to recommend are its fairly low system requirements. The game will run on Windows (XP and up), Mac, Linux and SteamOS enabled systems. There’s no doubt Dejobaan wants as many people as possible to experience this one and write their own stories as they play.


Interestingly enough, I’ve always thought I’d be a lousy writer of fiction, but Elegy for a Dead World is certainly going to get me thinking outside the box I’ve tossed my brain into. We’ll see what happens in a bit, but I’ve got ideas bubbling up just from looking at screenshots. Back in a bit…

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