The Fabulous Fear Machine, the tried and true of a strategic one that teaches us how to spread fear and hate

The Fabulous Fear Machine, the tried and true of a strategic one that teaches us how to spread fear and hate

The Fabulous Fear Machine

Fictiorama Studios is an extremely underrated software house, despite having always signed courageous works with challenging themes, giving an authorial imprint to all the genres it has touched, starting from the graphic adventure Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today, passing through the 'excellent Do Not Feed the Monkeys, which addressed a topic close to that of their new game, a management strategy with a strong focus on the narrative side focused on the mechanics of spreading false news, created for the benefit of economic and political realities that act only for their interests. It is therefore with great curiosity that we tried the demo of The Fabulous Fear Machine, remaining involved and intrigued.

Game mechanics

Spreading fear will allow us to beat the competitors In addition to the tutorial, that explains the game mechanics very well, The Fabulous Fear Machine demo offers a mission of the first campaign, in which we will play the role of a scientist hired by a pharmaceutical company who wants to become a monopoly in the UK and Ireland. game looks complicated, but in reality they are very simple when taken as a whole. Having planted the seed of fear in a territory (literally a bulb), you can begin to build a network of false news by deciding which ones to spread in certain territories, depending on the message you want to convey. To do this, you need to look for suitable broadcasting locations in the main cities, clearly visible on the map.

Each city can contain several places in which to spread alarmism and produce the elements that are used to develop individual stories (basic resources that can be spent on them to increase their rank). The speed of production depends on the level and skill of the agent used (more on that later). The more stories are activated in a territory, the more it is made to increase in rank (perhaps by guessing the keywords to make them more effective) the more it will be filled with fear, displayed on the map as a bubbling mass that spreads without escape, a kind of tumor that goes slowly to fill the whole nation.

When the fear has reached a certain height, different for each state, you can pass the selected message at the beginning of the mission, which will give us control of the territory. The competitors will think about putting a spoke in the wheel, trying to get their message across in place of ours and that we will have to stop by infiltrating the agents in their bases to find elements with which to blackmail them, so as to deprive them of the possibility of acting . From time to time some events will also appear on the map, which will have to be dealt with in different ways depending on the requests. We did not find any particular difficulties in the demo, but we imagine that in the final version things will get complicated and you will have to face tougher competitors and more complicated events.

As you have read, we have mentioned agents several times. These are minions, depicted as dummies, which can be used for practically anything and which are essential for manufacturing.

Who is hiding behind the fortune teller? For example, we can make it produce resources in a city, we can make it carry out research to unlock a new place for spreading false news or we can order it to stop a certain event. Each action takes a certain number of days to complete, so it must be considered with respect to the priorities of the moment. For example, it is better to stop an opponent first than to produce a resource, otherwise there is a risk of irreparably losing a certain territory. The more agents act, the more experience they accumulate as they level up. This makes them become more capable in certain tasks. For example they can produce faster or they can give more effective results during infiltrations.


Fear requires knowledge of peoples and territories From a gameplay point of view, the title of Fictiorama Studios appears really interesting, at least in the underlying assumptions that govern it. To underline the focus placed by the development studio on the narrative side, which makes everything even more intriguing, between comic intermission sequences and personal stories of the agents that are told when they level up. Having said this, The Fabulous Fear Machine inevitably runs into a rather obvious paradox, as it is interesting: in order to try to reveal the dynamics of spreading conspiracy theories and false news, it stages conspiracies. Now, from the demo alone it is impossible to say where the game will go, narratively speaking, so no conclusions can be drawn about it.

The narrative interludes are told through comics However it is worth underlining how the protagonist of the campaign is contacted by a mysterious association, which communicates through the puppet of a fortune teller, complete with turban, bright eyes and glass ball, and performs its functions under the orders of strangers, whose true objectives are not made clear in any way. She herself has an unclear past, which seems to oppress her and guide her in her descent into hell. From this point of view, the use of a pulp comic graphic style is also interesting, which refers to the style of conducting the story chosen for the game.

We liked The Fabulous Fear Machine, despite the only playable mission it did not put us too much in difficulty. Overall it is a game to keep an eye on, both for the theme it deals with, different from that of the average title, and for some stylistic choices, which could prove to be successful. Technically very simple, but stylistically effective, it could be a small revelation, provided that the developers manage to effectively address the paradoxes that inevitably end up generating and broadening the mechanics a little, to create more variety.


The theme is interesting Stylistically effective DOUBTS Will it be varied enough? Plots to reveal the nature of plots? Have you noticed any errors?

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