Welcome, welcome, WELCOME back to First Impressions! I wanted to bring to you all an upcoming AD that is extremely unique in how it is both presented and marketed. It operates very much like an ARG (Alternate Reality Game), but even then it’s a unique twist on the ARG. I expect nothing less than this kind of master storytelling from the same people who brought us Jim Robbie and the Wanderers.
With the passing of Sir Roger Moore, I can think of no more appropriate genre to showcase today than an espionage AD. Don’t worry, this review will NOT self-destruct in five seconds…wait, that’s Mission Impossible…now I’m mixing fandoms, oh boy.
Anyway, I present to you OAKPODCAST.
As I said, this AD is extremely unique in how it presents itself and its funding. Most shows will have advertisements somewhere during or right after the show, letting you know about their Patreon account or how amazing stamps.com or Bombas Socks are. In this case the main character, Holly, uses her Patreon in her story. You can donate to her directly to help her get basic supplies throughout the story, as well as offer advice to help her advance in the plot. Speaking of plot, let’s talk about that!
Holly is a spy. From what she says, she has been in this line of business for some time, as she will recount past experiences throughout the episode. Everything she says is being broadcasted in the hopes of reaching who I assume is either her partner or handler, Oak. Insert funny Pokémon reference here. The main story centers on Holly, and how she woke up one day with no money, no clue where she was, and no IDEA how she got there. She reaches out to Oak in the hopes that they will find her. It’s a pretty basic storyline, but one that is supplemented well with the backstory you get from Holly about past missions.
Holly is quite the voice actor herself, portraying a smart and capable woman in the face of what most others would find quite scary. Not knowing where you are, let alone how you got there. Nothing in the way of funds and a very limited inventory of items at your disposal, all of this would definitely scare the pants off of me.
Only three episodes in at the time of this writing, OAKPODCAST really pushes boundaries in terms of immersion with their unique funding campaign, and how woven into the story it is. They give you a story both simple, and yet brimming with just enough backstory to make you feel like you’re right on the edge of something huge. If you want to give it a listen, I’d HIGHLY recommend it! You won’t be disappointed.