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The Book of Vanishing Tales, by Camelon

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The Book of Vanishing Tales, March 14, 2022
by Gryphon
Related reviews: Camelon

General Recommendation: I recommend this game, itís an engaging story with a wide variety of interesting options, and a non-traditional IF format.
Preview: Forty years after the muses sacrificed themselves to save the world, you, husband of Ivani muse of heroism and storyteller, go on a journey to the grove of the muses, where the musesís graves are. Your choices and decisions will affect the ultimate fate of the world.



Basic Plot & Coherence:
This has a strong premise, and it was executed well. This story is largely divided into two parts: The journey to the grove, and the final decision once you reach the grove. The choices made along the journey to the grove ultimately affect which options are presented to you once you reach it.
The journey largely consists of making choices about what kind of stories you want to tell and what kind of person you want to be, and based on this, you get options for different endings. Choose to tell comedic stories, and you have the option of becoming the muse of comedy. Make destructive choices, and you have the option of ending the world. The journey has an incredible number of options, and even after reading through as many branches as I could find, Iím sure I didnít find all the endings. This story manages to be both expansive and tightly constructed at once.

Characters & Development:
Mostly itís the main character who gets development. Beyond the choices you can make as a player, he retains the same basic personality: a storyteller, who wants to understand whatís happening to the world. The side characters are decently developed as well, even those that appear only for a scene or two.

No mistakes here.
Mastery of Language:
The language here is surprisingly poetic and well done. Poetic language usually isnít my thing, but I enjoyed it here.

Mechanics & Coding:
The coding here isnít complex (at least I think, I donít know much about coding), but serves to give the player different options for endings depending on their choices. It serves its purpose and kept me going back through the different branches long after Iíd finished.

The branching is where the story really expands into such a large tale. Each seperate journey and ending gives the player new insights into the world and characters, plus the game has excellent replay value.

Player Options/fair choice:
Largely there were no problems with this. There were a few places where I felt that the player didnít get all the information the character would have had to make a choice, but nothing serious.

Endings: Boy, are there a lot. There seem to be a few standard endings, like ďtell the muses your storyĒ and ďwrite Ivani a love poemĒ that show up in several different places, but the endings that involve listening to a specific museís call seem rarer. Iíve found the chaos, comedy, sage, and world-ending muse endings, and Iím sure there are more.

I quite enjoyed this. After playing through what seemed to be the simplest path, I went back and found many of the others, such as dealing with the mages and the blood religion. I think Iíve found most of the endings, but Iím still missing a few, such as child of sandrella, which I saw mentioned in another comment.

CONCLUSION: A unique game with a unique concept and unique format.

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