Data mining sim Orwell will be serialised, and the first episode is out now

Orwell, the game that tasks you with solving crimes via the ethically-dubious method of datamining, is now a serialised game split into five episodes, with the first releasing today. And in a break from convention, the episodes will release on a weekly basis for the next month and a bit, rather than throughout the year.

The first episode, 'The Clocks were Striking Thirteen', is available as a free demo on Steam right now. If you like what you play, the full season will set you back $9.95, with an episode released every week until November 17.

"In [the first] episode, the player is recruited into the Orwell program and, following a terrorist attack, is given their first target to investigate. Cassandra Watergate is a young woman with a criminal record who was spotted by surveillance cameras at the site of the bombing. Digging into her social media, chat messages and online presence, the player starts to uncover a web of connections and a mysterious group who might be involved in the attack."

I played a little bit of Orwell earlier this year and feel like this episodic approach will probably be for the best: the narrative unfolds quickly as you scan through the game's fictionalised database UI, and given that Osmotic is working with some pretty big themes in Orwell, having the time to let them sink in will be handy.

For a better idea of what it's about, check out the trailer below:

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.