Let’s face facts: most adventurers are homicidal, if not genocidal maniacs. Even in the best of circumstances, they beat up the bad guys in less than legal circumstances and more often than not, they simply slaughter sentient beings and loot their dead bodies. In darker games, the characters are not even expected to have a moral excuse for performing such slaughter; they are simply giving in to their accursed nature. Pie Shop takes this often overlooked fact of role playing to all new levels. In fact, the game takes it to a level where it is the very core of the game. In Pie Shop the characters (it is impossible to think of them as heroes in even the loosest terms, even “anti-hero” is too nice a title for them) are serial killers.
The author goes to great lengths to convey the skewed, dark and downright creepy nature of his subject matter. Each chapter begins with a scene from Alice in Wonderland but the excerpts are altered so that Alice is a killer who leaves a bloody path in her wake as she travels through Wonderland. The game text itself is written in a twisted, slightly insane style and from the perspective of one killer talking to another, a sort of psychotic mentor. This writing includes the obligatory piece of flavor text but even this is knocked sideways from expectations by taking a sudden, violent, dark turn in the middle that is all too appropriate for the game. Reading Pie Shop gives a feeling not unlike reading the novel American Psycho. You’re travelling through a strange land that is the mind of someone almost completely alien, yet disgustingly human and it is hard to look away. Read the rest of this entry »