by Stephen Bond profile

Slice of life

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Number of Ratings: 118
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- wisprabbit (Sheffield, UK), September 19, 2023

Dostoevskian teenage passivity simulator?, August 9, 2023

Have always admired this coming of age IF for its cheeky and insightful depiction not just of passivity but nostalgia.

One aspect I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere: Unless I'm wrong, I believe the concept owes something to the Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground," another story told by a bitter and impractical man with issues relating to his peers. Years after playing Bond's game, I was reading "Notes" for the first time when something about a rant in it felt very familiar, and I realized I was thinking of the protagonist's speech in "Rameses" attacking "you 'people of action.'"

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- Kastel, April 7, 2023

- EJ, November 15, 2022

- sw3dish, October 13, 2022

- obedia, October 9, 2022


The writing is solid and has a lot of character -- in some places, possibly a wee bit too much character. Still, as in several other offerings this year, the style fit perfectly the mood and environs. It reads, to my mind, something like those TV shows where a character chooses to narrate the goings-on would were they in a written format, a trick that works with the right characters and situations... which this game has.

-- Tina Sikorski

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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

Playing this character is an exercise in frustration. Every command you enter that might stand up to a bully, or leave a bad situation, or just let the PC take charge of his life in any way is wistfully brushed aside with a message like "Yeah, that'd be great, wouldn't it? But I'll never do it." Annoying, yes, but it's also the very soul of the character, and the very point of the game. In a sense, Rameses turns you into Alex's real self, struggling to get out and be heard, struggling to make a difference, only to be smacked down by fear, insecurity, and sometimes outright paranoia. In his climactic speech, the PC voices the exact torment that the player feels at every prompt -- it's an agonizing experience, and that's the point.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Teenage Social Anxiety: The Un-Interactive Fiction, February 13, 2022
by Cody Gaisser (Florence, Alabama, United States of America, North America, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Known Universe, ???)

Rameses is a semi-interactive short story about a shy, insecure teenage boarding school student with too much social anxiety to act on his impulses. Surrounded by jerks and pushovers (and certainly a bit of both himself), the protagonist struggles to navigate awkward situations like bullying and dates with girls.

The protagonist's social paralysis is represented through the "gameplay" decision to restrict the player's behavior at almost every turn. Almost nothing the player can do will affect the story in any meaningful way, and often the protagonist simply refuses to act at all. This is not a bug but a feature, however, as it perfectly expresses the way a surly teenager might shut down in complicated social situations where they feel powerless.

While Rameses may frustrate some players looking for either an adventure game (no puzzles here!) or a piece of interactive fiction with more emphasis on "interactivity," the story and mechanical conceit are strong enough to recommend anyway. It should strike a chord with anyone who has ever experienced being an insecure teenager surrounded by other insecure teenagers, which I'd guess is quite a lot of people.

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- Malasana, August 18, 2021

- jusw85, March 16, 2021

- autumnc, September 12, 2020

- antperson, August 20, 2020

- William Chet (Michigan), July 19, 2020

- Zape, July 16, 2020

- Edo, May 19, 2020

- kierlani, May 4, 2020

- airylef, February 23, 2020

- Spike, August 28, 2019

- jjsonick, August 17, 2019

- DAB, May 14, 2019

- eccol, March 18, 2019

- elias67, March 12, 2019

- getlostdont, February 5, 2019

- SchnickelFritz (TX), December 26, 2018

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