Ratings and Reviews by bradleyswissmanView this member's profile
View this member's reviews by tag: college Forgiving humor moving NPCs puzzle puzzles short 1-10 of 45 | Next | Show All
Emily Short really pushes some boundaries of IF that she has similarly played with in Galatea. I highly recommend playing this game at least once through before reading any spoilers.
In this riff on the classic story of Cinderella, you play (Spoiler - click to show) not the evil stepmother, the haughty sisters, the handsome prince, or Cinderella, but the family parrot. . I went in expecting something lengthy and immersive like Bronze, but was pleasantly charmed by this clever reimagination. Partially because she's stripped the reader of most of their agency, Ms. Short's writing shines through here more than ever. She fully fleshes her characters out in terms of mannerisms and speech. Additionally, Short(Spoiler - click to show), having pulled the wool over your eyes by casting you, the reader, as a parrot, provides us with a completely re-written Cinderella. You will definitely want to play through multiple times so that you can experience the full story! There are at least 4 different endings that I found.
I gave this gave 4 stars rather than 5 simply because it lacked the impressive machinery that Post usually works into her IF, and 4 stars rather than 3 because the writing is really that good. It is well worth your time, simply because it takes very little time to play.
I enjoyed Cannery Vale immensely. The structure of this IF is extraordinary. It plays much like a Twine story, in which the player selects different phrases and are rewarded with either expository material or an experience. What I enjoyed most about it was the (Spoiler - click to show)extremely clever use of the author state, dreams, and the protagonist state to carry along the storyline. It never felt tedious switching from the hotel room to the novel, and I found the ability to change outcomes by choosing to 'write' in different plot points was really fun and masterfully executed. Even though you can theoretically finish this game very quickly, it is a game I enjoyed spending several hours in, exploring all that it had to offer(Spoiler - click to show) You absolutely can achieve all the 'good' and 'bad' endings if you want without ever experiencing the orgiastic carnival rave, the suspicious meatpacking plant, the gorgon chained to a bed. But why the hell would you want to miss out on that? Another really excellent element of this game is the fact that it provided an extremely rewarding and forgiving world to explore. I am often hesitant to start an IF because I'm worried that I'll lose my grasp on the world that is constructed as I play, but having the storyline grounded in this (Spoiler - click to show)recursive return to the author's hotel room helped me maintain my bearings. Also, kudos to the author for including the option to decrease or increase the level of explicit scenes as well as offering the player the ability to quickly explore all of the endings (provided you've managed to successfully acquire all the prerequisite items).
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