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by TaciturnFriend


Web Site

(based on 6 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Written very quickly for the SeedComp 2024, entirely over the extra weekend...

The seeds I used:
Reverse a poem

Content warnings:
Mildly nsfw for kissing and sexual references. In some playthroughs, a moment of violence. Occasional well-concealed snippets of Literature.

Feedback, bugs and comments:
All gratefully received.

The core poem it responds to is Sonnet 128. But a certain amount of playful imagining of the characters of the rest of the sequence snuck in too. Assuming there is a definitive answer to the question of who the real-life counterparts of Shakespeare's "dark lady" and "fair youth" may be is a fool's errand; they're literary constructs. But I've run with the thought that they may as well have been Henry Wriothesley, and the wife of John Florio (whose name history does not record, but I'm not the first to use Aline). Jack emerged from the poem's "saucy jacks" of the harpsichord.

Game Details


Winner, Best Story; Entrant, All Games - SeedComp! - 2024


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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A sonnet subverted, March 21, 2024

This is a short little game with nice styling. I enjoyed the setup—with several entangled relationships at a single’s Valentine’s Day party, some sort of drama is bound to go down… It’s a very effective use of Amanda's “reverse a poem” seed, with the dramatic longing of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 128” recast to a modern-day setting where the PC is able to hit on his hot, married, harpsichord-playing acquaintance the moment he’s alone with her.

The game has some nice mechanics; informational text on the various characters is given via dialogue box pop-ups (although one issue with these is that, while the game lets you increase the font size—which is good, because the default is quite small—the text within the dialogue boxes doesn’t change.) The story is divided into parts (poetically called “first quatrain,” etc.), and at the end of each you can either continue the game or restart from the beginning of that part.

This is especially handy once you reach the final quatrain. Up to this point the game is mostly linear, but once the climax hits there are many possible variations. This is where the game really excels at reversing the poem, as the sheer existence of so many possible endings subverts the poem’s near-devout obsession with its subject. While there’s clearly only one outcome that would satisfy the poem’s speaker, in the game you might (Spoiler - click to show)get cozy with Aline, the object of your affections, OR end up kissing your friend Henry, OR reject Aline after she kisses you. Even if you do take the opportunity to get it on with Aline, the last line of that ending is, “it’s hard to see this bringing lasting joy. But for now, it’ll do.”.

Also, it was just fun to see how differently things could go within those few minutes of the story!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Hit on your friend, hit on your married friend, hit everyone!, March 31, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: seedcomp

Sonnet is a relatively short game made in Twine, where you play as Will, a man invited to a single's Valentine's Day party, organised by a long-time and long-single rich friend of yours. As one could assume, where party are at, drama soon follows. The entry uses two seeds: "Palate" for the colour scheme of the interface, and "Reverse a Poem", taking the romantic and languishing "Sonnet 128" to a more salacious and less than chivalrous setting. Rather than long romantic bouts to express your love, why not a one night stand with your eccentric friend or your hot - but also still very married - other eccentric and musical friend?

The game is pretty cheeky in its interpretation of the main seed and the poem, and made me giggle quite a bit in the hidden references (especially Henry's description). It was also fun trying on the different paths and conversations, and reaching the multiple available endings. The game is sectioned into four parts (each named after a poetry term), formatted as strechtext when clicking on the different options. At the end of each part, you have the choice to restart it or continue to the next part. However, only the final part actually has consequences to the ending.

I did run into some conversation issues (bothering the Aline when first meeting her to the point of repeating the same text, or punctuation errors) and often ended up restarting the current part instead of continuing to the next one (switching the order of the links or maybe having one on top of the other would make more sense).

It was still quite entertaining for its size.

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Relationship drama at an older university party, April 6, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This choice-based game is inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnet 128, as well as the Reverse a Poem prompt (and the surprisingly popular Color Palettes prompt, which has been used in at least 3 of the games I’ve seen.)

I enjoy Shakespeare (although his sonnets and other poems are the works of his I’ve studied least), so I was interested to see where this goes.

It’s split into 4 pieces, each reflecting part of the sonnet, and inviting you to compare the storyline with the sonnet itself as you go.

You show up at a Valentine’s party for older singles, some of whom your friendly with and others less so. Interaction comes from choosing who to talk to and how to interact with them.

I tend to immerse myself in characters as I play and to suspend disbelief, imagining me to be the character myself. Obviously characters sometimes do things that I wouldn’t do, like theft and murder. But I had to pull myself out of immersion in this game, as I was presented with a woman, told that she is married but separated, and given a chance to put my hand on her thigh. An extramarital affair is something I’ve seen happen multiple times in real time and they have cause the majority of pain I’ve experience in my life, so I had to eject my immersion and puppet the character like an astral projection the rest of the game. I don’t think that was the author’s intent at all, and they certainly can’t anticipate every person’s reaction to different themes!

Fortunately, I could simply just not click on certain options and the game came to a satisfying conclusion. I found myself intrigued by the drama and drawn into the action.

The best parts of the game to me were the characters who are painted in vivid detail. I felt like I already knew Jack and Henry and Aline, like I had met them before and could picture them in my eye (I saw Henry as a younger Robert Redford).

A few times I felt like the pacing could have slowed down a bit to explore some of the more interesting moments, like a certain violent moment with a bottle. This is an author who I think would do equally well with long form fiction as with short form fiction.

The styling was well done and the overall presentation looked great.

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