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Bulwark in the City of Flesh

title:Bulwark in the City of Flesh
download page:link
genre:First person adventure
platform:Windows, Mac
release:September 2019
features:text, sound, visuals
last edit by:pitermach


Half a millennium ago, the people of my planet realized we were drifting toward the event horizon of a black hole. If that seems like a slow-motion apocalypse to you, imagine how many years passed for your world in the meantime. We experienced generations of denial, despair, riots, and war before Earth was even a wet rock.

I was born after the dust settled, and I grew up knowing this: Someday, our planet will reach the black hole, and then everything we’ve experienced and created will be destroyed. In a way, it never existed at all.

You might think life was super grim for us, but the thing is, there’s a hierarchy to problem solving. You don’t focus on cosmic catastrophe. You focus on what you can control.

Or, at least, what you think you can control.


Bulwark in the City of Flesh is an audio game, video game, and radio drama. It can be played with your ears, your eyes, or both.

In Bulwark in the City of Flesh, you spend the majority of your time controlling Priscilla as she tries to relive her memories, with occasional interjections to our very own planet Earth where someone has taken over everybody's radios to send humanity a warning.

For the Priscilla sections, you follow her around the world as she does her job of fixing power nodes in the city, talking to characters and solving puzzles along the way. This seemingly simple task is made more interesting by the controls. For the most part, you control Bulwark with traditional first-person controls - move the mouse to turn, press WSAD to walk. However, you are also required to solve short puzzle segments requiring you to protect a group of people from getting shot, which take place on a grid. And while most Audiogames present grids as something you can cursor over with the arrow keys, Bulwark makes your keyboard into the grid, making it much easier to visualise the way the people and the enemies are placed.

Likewise, the conversations are more interesting than you'd expect. You select dialog options by moving the mouse left to right and clicking, which takes some getting used to. What's interesting about them is that rather than selecting what Priscilla says to the characters, you get to select what they say to her instead.

Finally, the sections taking place on Earth are less interactive, with you acting as an observer as two friends listen in on the broadcast while having a conversation trying to figure out what is going on. However, these are also made more interesting by the fact you can not only freely move yourself around their rooms, but also jump from one person to the other to hear the discussion from their point of view instead.

Like the Developer's previous game, HEARtREAD, Bulwark in the City of Flesh has a heavy focus on the story, which is told to you with very rich sound design, excellent voice acting as well as a song or two. The two games also reference each other, with Bulwark giving us a glimpse into what happened to the HEARtREAD crew after that game wrapped up. If any of this sounds interesting to you, I would recommend that new players start with HEARtREAD first before moving on to this game.

The game can be downloaded for both Windows and Mac from the Itch.io platform. You can name your own price for the game, even 0, however a donation is encouraged.


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Updates: entry 2 Feb 22 and description 2 Feb 22

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