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Tacoma, the just-released exploration game from Gone Home studio Fullbright, relies on some very familiar tropes. A salvager named Amy Ferrier shows up on an abandoned space station run by an inattentive corporation, piecing together what disaster has befallen its crew, with the help of an unnervingly philosophical AI called Odin. As my colleague Andrew writes, it doesn’t have much room to flesh out its premise, leaving us with strong archetypes but not enough substance. But no matter how flawed Tacoma’s story might be, it’s a fantastic example of how to tell one.

Tacoma’s central system is a fresh and unique cross between cutscenes and audio logs: two video game narrative cliches that have been abused to the point of parody. (It also…

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