Dysfunctional Systems is a visual novel series featuring Winter Harrison, a student mediator from a utopian world. Learning to Manage Chaos is the first entry in the series.
What if you could travel to parallel worlds? The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions. A world where the Russians rule America… or where your dreams of being superstar came true… or where San Francisco was a maximum-security prison. My friends and I found the gateway. Now the problem is… finding a way back home. Okay, yeah, that’s a direct quote from Sliders.
Dysfunctional Systems is a visual novel. This means that you navigate the game with the mouse or keyboard and read text with visuals. There isn’t a lot to it, but it’s a special genre of game, one that can often times be good when done properly. This game boasts a feature that isn’t super common, though. An in game available “Codex” for accessing information from a database.
The story is a political one. You are a mediator, sent to other worlds on parallel planes to help keep them from falling into chaos. It is a fun concept to explore, and the writers did a decent job of having you, the student, struggle with the foreign concepts of poor, war and bending the rules. It is also, however, predictable.
I don’t know why, as there was no error log produced, but for unknown reasons, music and video in the game wouldn’t play. It isn’t super detrimental, but as the animated intro is one of the biggest draws of the game, it can be off putting.
Overall, I’d have to give Dysfunctional Systems a toast rating. It is a well written story, with decent art and a well made GUI, but it still suffers Visual Novel syndrome. If you play it once, you find it hard to care about every line of dialogue on subsequent play throughs. For an interesting story and decent visuals though, I do recommend picking it up.