If you could talk to a future version of yourself, what would you say? And what if that future you is responsible for a horrific event, and only (the present) you can hope to talk them (you) out of it? If your head is spinning already, then get a load of Your Future Self, an "experimental text adventure" recently released by indie UK developer Contortionist Games.
Your Future Self is set in a world "ravaged by climate change" at at time when "millions of people from poorer countries have been displaced by rising sea levels and forced into climate refugee camps where they live in terrible conditions." With funding for the camps running out and refugees in need of asylum elsewhere, the situation is a "pressure cooker ready to explode." You – or rather, the future you – are "an overseer of one such camp" who "ends up right in the middle of it" and unfortunately are about to commit a "terrible crime" from which there is no turning back.
Stepping into this social and personal quagmire, current you (the player) wakes up as a "disembodied voice tells you that you have been trapped in a time loop with your future self." Now the only way to break the loop is to "convince your future self of the wrongness of their actions." You comply, as "it seems you have no choice but to follow their instructions, but that doesn't mean you should believe everything they say. As you progress in your conversation with your future self, it becomes very apparent that something is amiss. Someone is lying to you. The question is: who? And why?"
Described as a 1-2 hour long "conversation 'em up" text adventure, Your Future Self hearkens back to the "aesthetics of text-based adventure games whilst deliberately bending the genre into something unique." Rather than solving traditional puzzles, conversation between your two selves drives the gameplay. Choosing from an ongoing series of predetermined dialogue responses, you must be "as convincing as possible when talking to your future self, but figuring out the mechanics of how to achieve this (and figuring out how the time loop affects gameplay) is a puzzle in itself, and an inherent part of the game's challenge." In doing so, the unfolding story promises to touch on "difficult, emotive, but very important subjects that are more relevant than ever in our current political climate."
If talking to yourself without being considered crazy sounds appealing to you, there's no need to leave it for a future you to play, as the budget-priced Your Future Self is available now on Steam and itch.io.