External Links

Play Online
Competition version.
Story File
Contains Mirror and Queen.gblorb
Competition version.
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
by David Welbourn

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

Mirror and Queen

by Chandler Groover profile


(based on 29 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

Your mirror never lies.

A puzzleless reflection. Fifteen to forty minutes.

Game Details


Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2016 XYZZY Awards

22nd Place - 22nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2016)

Editorial Reviews

The Breakfast Review
The game is primarily interesting for what it has to say about the queen's situation and what we can take away from it, not for what we can cause to happen within the game world.
See the full review

Doug's World
For an open-input game, this is highly accessible. On the flip side, this game design does not provide for the highest level of player agency or branched path story telling. But if you accept that, "Mirror and Queen" is a solid piece of writing.
See the full review

Hannah Powell-Smith
I really enjoyed this. Between the lush writing and unflinching look into the Queen’s psychological state, not to mention the court wheeler-dealing and ruthless aristocracy, it was just my cup of tea. Fairytales can be a hard sell, but this really suited me. I almost want something more from the world and characters, to be able to escape the game’s boundaries... but, after all, we know how this story ends.
See the full review

Kirjallinen Suunnistaja

Kuningatar puhuu peilille, joka vastaa hänelle mielipuolisin vuodatuksin. Tekstikenttään voi kirjoittaa mitä tahansa ja teos vastaa parhaansa mukaan: aina nyrjähtäneesti ja uusia ajatusuria avaten. Tekstiparserin käyttö on Mirror and Queenissä äärimmäisen yksinkertaista ja vapaata samaan aikaan.
See the full review

Old Games Italia
Poiché il tutto si basa su singole parole da inserire, l'esperienza è molto user friendly, ma di conseguenza anche molto limitante. Mirror and Queen però funziona molto bene lo stesso, perché è scritto divinamente. Perché le immagini sono forti, ma si appoggiano sempre a una introspezione vera e realistica della figura della regina.
See the full review

T.L. Bodine
The game is introspective by design. You don’t really do anything; you just think over things, in rich imagery and evocative glimpses. The prose leaves plenty of gaps around the edges for your imagination to fill in, rather than leading you by the hand.
See the full review


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A rich conversational experience with good styling, May 11, 2017

This game has a beautiful backdrop of a mirror, and has unusual fonts and styling.

It is a parser conversational game. You type topics (about 1000 are recognized) and thus explore a a conversational thread.

The writing is good, but the biggest issue is the lack of control. I felt like I was just getting random snippets, even though there were threads. The vagueness of the writing contributed to this fact.

As a technical work, though, this is extraordinarily impressive.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Superb fracture on Snow White., January 6, 2017
by Ruber Eaglenest
Related reviews: IF Comp 2016

Disclaimer: (Spoiler - click to show)Hi, this are the reviews I did in the the IFComp 2016. I’m Ruber Eaglenest. Co-author of The skyscraper and the scar, and entry of that year. The review is posted without edition, and need some context about how I reviewed and rated the games. So, apart of my bad English I hope to be constructive. I will point to the things I don't like of the game, but I hope to be helpful. The structure I follow is this: Title, one line review, two to five word; Mobile friendliness, overall, score phrased based on IF comp guidelines. I had back ache and so that’s why I played most games in Android mobile, I looked closely at how games behave on mobile and review and vote based on that.

Mobile friendly: not at all. The CSS has some problems yet and the frame eats the whole space in Android mobile. I think the author is working on that.

Overall: Amazing work that let me pretty excited about in my very first turns. The very concept of it. That marvellous cover. That the play is inside the mirror. The striking beautiful prose of Chandler Groover. I was imagining this as a pretty app for desktop, mobiles and tables alike where the responses of the mirror would fade-in in a pretty rendered calligraphic font as if they were emerging from the mirror as as if it was the surface of a lake of calm dark waters. I think Chandler could do that, with the help of some friends, and sell this for money. (ow! ow! imagine it, with permanent voice recognition: “Mirror, mirror, tell me about…”)

I think any game about consulting a magic mirror, or that has magic mirrors in it, is a winner. I loved the mirror in The wolf among us, and I loved this too.

After too much excitement I was a little disappointed when I learned that it is a retelling of Snow White. I would prefer that the story was about a new Queen, and not that is about THAT Queen and Princess AGAIN, that has been retold thousands of times. However I quickly left that negativity aside and just enjoyed the work. That was worth it because the ending would not be so powerful if it would be for another queen and another princess. It is a great idea and sometimes great ideas must float above the used tropes.

I hope Chandler releases a postmortem, postcomp, because I would like to know how the innards work. How it was made. The mirror is not just a simple input-output information machine. It reflects intelligence (or fakes it, but whatever it does, it works).

I’ve seen that there are has been some criticism about the lack of agency. And that the author says that it is a game that last from 15 to 40 minutes. On the contrary I think it has a too long play for the kind of work. But that is alleviated because the save system works so well. You can consult the mirror, leave it and coming back to it for more (oh! an autosave feature for quiting the game would be awesome, like in roguelikes). So, that’s fine. Respect interactivity and agency, it is the kind of work about database consultation, as in 500 apocalypses, or some works of fiction proposed by Borges and Cortazar, so in that respect Mirror and Queen is just perfect as is. It needs not to go “out of the mirror”.

However some last sentences in the very last turns suggest that maybe there is some zntvp jbeq jub jbhyq punatr gur bhgpbzrf, but maybe I'm misreading or loosing in translation. And that’s why I would like to know more about, in a postmortem.

Final fun fact. I was playing the very last turns while listening to Dark Souls III, song Prologue, and the crescendo fitted so well with the matter at hand that it was a tremendous climax. Keep in mind that when you make the commercial version, Chandler, you'll need an audio engineer who could built a dynamic soundtrack that adapts itself to the countdown of the story.

Score: Excellent. I would give it a 10 if it were not for the trope story.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

Mirror and Queen on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Mirror and Queen appears in the following Recommended Lists:

New walkthroughs for November 2021 by David Welbourn
On Friday, November 26, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works...


The following polls include votes for Mirror and Queen:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible individual NPCs of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual NPC in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible innovation uses of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Use of Innovation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Implementation of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Implementation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned...

See all polls with votes for this game

This is version 16 of this page, edited by Keltena on 29 September 2023 at 9:10pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page