Elsinore is a game where you play as Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. She’s stuck in a time loop, ala Groundhog Day or Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Her goal? To prevent Hamlet, a Shakespearean tragedy so tragic that it borders on ludicrous, from ending tragically.
I took a look at the game while at GDC in San Francisco. It’s a really neat concept, and so far the execution seems to be keeping pace. The basic idea is that every character operates on their own schedule in the game’s world, stuck on a path of predetermined doom by their cackling, pointy mustached god. As Ophelia, you gather information and interact with people to change their stories—to, say, stop Hamlet from murdering Polonius and, you know, pretty much everyone else from dying.
However, your actions can and will have unforeseen consequences. You might think it’s an excellent idea to just reveal that King Claudius killed Hamlet’s father right off the bat, but there’s Norwegian prince Fortinbras and his pending invasion to take into account. Knocking off Claudius early on might make things even more terrible.
I shot a quick video of the game while team lead Katie Chironis and game designer Connor Fallon walked me through it: