Okay, I have mentioned this game before in both My article about Alexa, and The thread about Alexa games, but as I'm not sure how many people are reading those I thought this one warrants a topic in New releases. Usually I don't tend to bother writing new releases topics for Alexa games, since many of them are far smaller titles, and the few exceptions like Dungeon adventure and Six swords are already well known, but this one is rather more serious.
The Vortex is best described as a combination of Land of Livia meets code 7.
You wake up from Cryo-sleep on a spaceship which has been attacked by nasty aliens, with the bay o fire. Since your stuck in Cryo pod, your only communication with the outside world is your neural link to the ship's Ai's and robots.
This means that the game plays like an interactive audio drama, with full sound effects, voice logs etc, however the robots and such are actually played the Alexa voices.
Several things however make the game rather unique and not just your usual interactive audio. Firstly, is the quality of the interactions. Each robot has their own personality, and how you respond to them or what you tell them to do changes the way they react to you. Another key point, is that like Land of Livia, the game is played entirely in real time.
Saying "status" gives you a list of tasks you can order the robots to do. Several, such as harvesting junk from space take rl time, and thus you have to check back after a few hours to see how your robots are doing, this makes it in rl terms quite a long game, which is actually nice.
Since different robots have different tools, often you need to plan if you want one or more of the robots busy at once.
As you do tasks you repair more of the ship, find out what the ship was doing, and find out where the ship is now, as well as of course run in to nasty aliens.
The game also has a resource, robot fuel called multi jell that is needed to perform some tasks. You can harvest a limited amount of this each day as well as get some each time you log in. If your in North America you can also buy more multi jell, but don't ask me for how much since you don't get that option outside the states.
Multi jell is perhaps my only miner criticism of the game, since while you do get one multi jell every hour, you have to log in to get it. What I mean is, if you open the game, you'll receive a multi jell and be told you can get more in 60 minutes, however if you log in again in three hours, you'll still only get one multi jell. This means practically there are lots of points where you just open the ap and then close it again, particularly if your trying to save multi jell for some of the more expensive task options such as making a new robot.
On the plus side, not all tasks take multi jell, and since the robots respond dynamically, you tend to get to hear a lot of dialogue even if you send the same robot to do the same job, and I freely admit that I'm probably taking the more difficult option myself in saving multi jell up to get some more expensive tasks done rather than doing some of the smaller tasks earlier on .
Anyway, if you want a really nice passive game to log into a time or two a day, likeable characters and something interesting to see, I can highly recommend this one, particularly because its %100 free to play, indeed if I were! in North America I'd be glad to donate to the game just because I really like what they've done, multi jell aside.
You can find the game by searching for "the vortex" under skills for Alexa, and the developer's website is
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)