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Ms. Lojka or: In Despair to Will to Be Oneself

by Jordan Magnuson profile


Web Site

About the Story

A short game about ignorance, defiance, and freedom—or: self-knowledge, acquiescence, and fate. Takes about 15 minutes to play.

There are two significantly-divergent endings, but replays are intentionally discouraged.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 6, 2016
Current Version: 1.10
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: Unknown
TUID: jzo364awhjbt1mof

Off-Site Reviews

Christopher Huang
I’m not a fan of the practice of “playing” text, a convention seemingly beloved by a lot of Japanese games: they never play at the speed that’s comfortable for me to read. But the typewriter sounds had the effect of making it easier to read and follow, at least the first time around. They’re pretty effective at setting the mood, too, and if there’s one thing “Ms Lojka” does well, it’s the mood. Immersion. The sound effects and the artwork are all spot-on, with the possible exception of the cheesy “Yay!” when the narrator begins the section on their love for New York. Still, the fact I can point out that one very specific thing as an exception should be an indication of how seamless and coherent the rest of it is.

Speaking of coherency … our narrator isn’t exactly the most coherent. Or, more to the point, they’re not the most reliable. I think I first realised this when they began a wildly erroneous account of who Rasputin was. As the story progresses, our narrator’s grip on reality seems to weaken. Backspacing begins to appear on the playing of the text–and now the reason for that practice becomes apparent. It’s not merely a convention: it’s part of the performance. By the end, it’s not entirely clear who our narrator is, or what their relationship might be to Ms Lojka (if she even exists) and the tower. There is a sense of something unspeakable at the heart of the mystery; and though we do realise that much, the true nature of it is left to the fertile fields of our imagination rather than explicitly described. It is, I think, this appeal to the unknown that fuels the story’s horror.
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
Ms. Lojka is a horror Twine about a beastly supernatural killer in New York City, with some references to Babel and Rasputin, backed by some (I thought) rather effective illustrations, as well as whispery sound effects and music. Meanwhile, the text appears on the screen as though typed. I typically find that effect annoying and slow, and Ms. Lojka was not quite an exception, but it does use the interesting conceit that the narrator’s typing becomes more error-prone as the story goes on and they become less stable. At the end, it wound up in a loop of repeating text that I couldn’t seem to stop, which was narratively appropriate, so I assume that is the intended ending; but it’s just possible there’s an alternative outcome.

I didn’t respond as much to the content as to the presentational effort. Ms. Lojka mingles hints of mental illness and supernatural or mystical powers, and it finds some creepy images to express those ideas, but ultimately felt like a combination of fairly standard tropes to me.
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Wade's Important Astrolab
My response to this game was all over the place, though I must frame this statement in a positive arch where I would say that if you like morbid intrigue, I recommend Ms. Lojka. It also has great audiovisual and aesthetic strength of the kind that makes me say it is the most expensive-looking (in a Hollywood sense) Twine I have encountered.
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Page Update History

  v.14: 20-Oct-2016 16:54 - Jordan Magnuson (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed version number
v.13: 20-Oct-2016 16:36 - Jordan Magnuson
v.12: 20-Oct-2016 16:30 - Jordan Magnuson
Changed description
v.11: 20-Oct-2016 16:29 - Jordan Magnuson
Changed description
v.10: 06-May-2016 18:23 - Doug Orleans
Changed external review links
v.9: 07-Apr-2016 00:23 - Jordan Magnuson
Changed description
v.8: 07-Apr-2016 00:22 - Jordan Magnuson
Changed Web site URL
v.7: 07-Apr-2016 00:17 - Jordan Magnuson
Changed title, description
v.6: 07-Apr-2016 00:16 - Jordan Magnuson
v.5: 07-Apr-2016 00:13 - Jordan Magnuson
v.4: 07-Apr-2016 00:12 - Jordan Magnuson
Changed cover art
v.3: 07-Apr-2016 00:10 - Jordan Magnuson
Changed cover art, download links
v.2: 07-Apr-2016 00:03 - Jordan Magnuson
Changed version number, license type, description, forgiveness, author
v.1: 06-Apr-2016 14:56 - CMG
Created page