The Curfew could be described as a miniature Canterbury Tales set in a not-so-distant future, where citizens must abide by government security measures and second-class citizens are placed under curfew at night.
The player must navigate this new locked-down world, and engage with the characters met along the way, in order to work out who to trust with some leaked, government-shaming data.
The Curfew takes place over one night in which four ordinary people (the immigrant, the dissident, the ex-cop, and the youth) find themselves trapped by the curfew in a hostel, re-purposed as a safe house.
When the game begins the player is passed a data-laden disk containing information that could hopefully be disastrous for the government if delivered into the wrong hands.
The player - only hours away from capture - must find someone in the safe house to trust with this information. To fill the curfew hours the characters share their stories: when they leave the room – depending on the player’s choices – their outcomes will be revealed.
“Fully operating curfews actually do exist in over a thousand towns and cities across Britain today, where anyone under the age of 16-years-old found outside after 9pm can be removed from the streets and sent home by police,” says Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 Education.
“The Curfew was commissioned in response to this.
So many civil liberties and freedoms have been outlawed, piece by piece, in recent years: it’s no wonder we’re told so many young people are disaffected by politics and politicians."
The game is set over four episodes: each episode focusing on a different characters’ story using flashbacks to reveal how they ended up in the safe house that night.
You, the player, are a young political agitator working to undermine the totalitarian state that has Britain in its grip.
At the start of the game you are given a data disc containing information on a scandal that will damage the government if leaked.
But the police are mere hours away from tracking your location.
You have to get the information into the hands of a sympathetic party before you are caught, but who…?
You make your way to a local B&B, a safe house where ‘Class B’ citizens who didn't manage to make it home before curfew can pay to stay the night.
Over the course of the game you must get to know the people there – listen to their stories and decide who amongst them is trustworthy.
The choices you make in questioning your fellow ‘safe house’ mates will determine how much they trust you and how likely they are to do the right thing with the information should you choose to give it to them.
As the night draws to a close, just before the police burst through the door, you must decide whom to give the disc to.
The choices you make will either render you a hero of liberty and freedom, or will see you rotting in jail.
The Curfew is a browser-based game delivered in Flash 10.
The production includes a range of mixed media techniques including 3D sets, illustrative composition and seamlessly integrated live footage giving a cinematic effect to the game.
About The Curfew characters
Aisha (ARIA PRASAD) is an Iraqi immigrant who came to the UK when she was four.
She’s conscientious, hardworking, and British, with no desire to return to a country she can’t remember and thus, is on a mission to find the person who can get her replacement work permits to prevent her wrongfully-arrested parents from being deported.
Leah (AMY NOBLE) is an enemy of the system: she uses drugs, breaks curfew, and refuses to conform to the rules of society.
She runs illegal post-curfew parties in Brighton, using her bureaucratic day job as cover and backup.
But she has been driven to blackmail after her own after-curfew revolutionary-hedonism has been discovered.
Saul (DEREK RIDDELL), 40, works in security, is divorced with two kids. He misses his family but makes no effort to stay in touch with them.
He has spent this night covering up an ex-colleague’s crimes – he really doesn’t want any trouble, but as the evening wears on it becomes apparent that his so-called friends have made that unavoidable…
Lucas (FINN JONES) is bored: he is young, antisocial and rebellious.
He doesn’t seem to care about risking both his freedom and future citizenship, simply to get hold of a non-government sanitized videogame… he’s wasted enough time playing government-approved rubbish.
On this night Lucas had to find something that wasn't terminally boring, whatever the dangers in finding it…
Note: I normally don't plug online games, but this one had two things going for it that prompted me to do so...
1) a similar dystopian future England feel as V for Vendetta, one of my favorite graphic novels and 1984, one of my favorite prose novels.