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Mere Anarchy

by Bruno Dias profile


Web Site

About the Story

“The box is cardboard, a file box; it looks like it should contain years of tax returns. Except the holes on the sides have been shut with black masking tape. Except the lid is held in place with the same tape. Except it feels warmer and lighter to the touch than a box full of paper should. Nothing rattles inside it.”

Mere Anarchy is an interactive story about magic, struggle, and choice.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 4, 2015
Current Version: 1.0
License: Freeware
Development System: Undum
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: 65D9E78B-CE42-4AD5-80D4-B0C1A8F91679
TUID: txqmifzs44ndjxpw

Off-Site Reviews

Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling

This is formally and structurally a very very different piece from Terminator Chaser, but thematically they’re both taking on a question of class struggle, and of how much a protagonist in a disadvantaged position can do against the murderous brutality of the overlords. With Terminator Chaser I also found myself asking for more backstory, though in that case I may have failed to find some of what was there by not using memory/thought verbs on the right topics. To be clear, there’s a lot more in Mere Anarchy; I just would have liked deeper development of certain portions.

In any case, this is an assured piece of work that handles a number of potentially tricky things — flashbacks and memory, protagonist interiority, highly changeable text — so deftly that one might not even be aware they were challenging. Well worth a play, even if I wish it had delved deeper in one area.
See the full review

These Heterogenous Tasks
Its brevity forces an economy of focus; and the thing with which it is most concerned, oddly enough for a choice-based piece, is not plot or character so much as the methods and paraphernalia of magic, magic as Mission Impossible gadgets. But it does play to choice-based strengths in other ways: the story’s told zoomed-in, moment-to-moment experiential, as if from the perspective of a shaky hand-held camera; this has the effect of obscuring a great deal about the world and its characters, and even about the protagonist themself. The principal NPC, Ilana, provides much of the motive force behind the plot – but whether she does so as a friend, lover or just a co-conspirator is up to the player, and doesn’t have a major impact. The PC’s relationship with her is not central to what the story is about. Of the many things a choice can contribute to a story, a very common one is to stress how inconsequential that choice is to the Matter of the Work, as a signal that the important questions lie elsewhere. I was reminded, to some extent, of Sartre’s The Reprieve, where the focus on the moment-to-moment experience of individuals doesn’t reveal the great dramas of nations, as you’d expect in Shakespearean-history mode, but obscures them, portrays them as ungraspable, suggests how little anybody comprehends of these vast, looming changes.
See the full review

Page Update History

  v.4: 09-Jun-2015 16:03 - Doug Orleans (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed external review links
v.3: 07-Jun-2015 13:35 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.2: 06-Apr-2015 15:42 - Bruno Dias
Changed cover art
v.1: 06-Apr-2015 15:41 - Bruno Dias
Created page