Reviews by Tabitha / alyshkalia

Shufflecomp 2023

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View this member's reviews by tag: Ectocomp 2023 IFComp 2023 PunyJam #4 SeedComp! 2024 Short Games Showcase 2023 Shufflecomp 2023 Spring Thing 2024
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Summers with the Sea King, by Dry Cappuccino Games

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Emotional story with meaningful choices, January 11, 2024

This game really hit for me emotionally, partly because it captured some feelings/experiences that I remember from childhood but also because it's just well written and evocative. The magic of a beach vacation, friends you see once a year and don't have any contact with otherwise (us millenials may be the last generation to have that particular experience), uncertainty about the way a friend feels about you... it's all conveyed so well.

As I played through the first time, I completely forgot that there was any state tracking going on, but when I remembered at the end I was impressed by how that aspect worked. There aren't a lot of choices throughout the game; more passages end with a "next page" link than with a choice. But the five or six choices you do have, determining what you said to Caspian at certain moments in several childhood flashbacks, what direction your adult life has gone, and one action you take in the present, subtly interact to result in one of at least three different endings. After playing through the first time and getting a very satisfying, fitting ending, remembering that I'd brought about that ending through my choices made it all the more meaningful.

Playing through several more times revealed that the game is also subtly responsive to your choices throughout, in ways that heighten the emotion. So all in all, this is just what I look for in a narrative game: a good story that the player is able to help shape.

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