Note: Facade only works on Windows ME to XP. It does not work on Vista or above. Facade is a unique free interactive adventure game using Artificial Intelligence (AI) where your role is to prevent the breakdown of a marriage.
The developers of Facade meanwhile describe it more complexly as: "An attempt to move beyond traditional branching or hyperlinked narrative to create a fully-realized, one-act interactive drama, integrating an interdisciplinary set of artistic practices and artificial intelligence technologies." You play the game as yourself and the longtime friend of couple named Grace and Trip which the developers describe as "an attractive and materially successful couple in their early thirties".
The plot is this: During an evening get-together at their apartment, things turn ugly (it's not clear why) and you somehow become embroiled in the destruction of Grace and Trip's marriage. No one is safe in Facade as the accusations fly, sides are taken and irreversible decisions are made that destroy happy homes. Your aim however is to make sure that ultimately Grace and Trip stay together rather than hurtle for expensive divorce proceedings.
To control your character, you must type to communicate with other characters, navigate with arrow keys and pick up and use objects with the mouse hand cursor. What you say to the characters influences their actions and whether they kiss and make up although its not an exact science. You may be waiting several moments for a response or the character may respond to you in a rather bizarre way.
The main problem with Facade is that although it's been surprisingly popular over the years, it's never been updated to work on Vista or above which is a real shame. If you're still running Windows ME to XP though, then you'll be able to play Facade. In the meantime, those that can't enjoy the game will have to do with watching one of the many YouTube screenplay videos dedicated to Facade.
It's a shame that Facade does not work on later versions of Windows because it's quite an original concept and provides more than a few laughs at resolving marital conflict.