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Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: January 4, 2015
Current Version: 1
Development System: Inform 7, Twine
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Number of Reviews: 4
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You Were Here doesn't give you any interaction options and doesn't make any attempt at coherence. If you go in expecting some normal sort of IF interaction, you will be confused and disappointed.
What it does is present a mashup of text from the introductions of IF games published in 2014, and I enjoyed seeing the juxtapositions. Here's a nice one:
(Spoiler - click to show)You can go west. Once there was a girl called Catherine Apple-Ninja Denise Yarmilla van Houten. Once upon a time there was an old man, shrouded in mystery venturing across the land living his life. The list for the hundred-year Convent of Evil was published and you were eleventh on the list.
And here's the next one:
(Spoiler - click to show)Congratulations! Laughter tastes bitter in a burnt mouth, and yet that's what you're continuously doing with this girl at the bar. Having murdered his brother-in-law, Orrin Brower of Kentucky was a fugitive from justice.
So, if you like this sort of procedurally generated juxtaposition, enjoy! If you don't, you probably won't enjoy.
(Review applies to Inform 7 version of game.)
I really enjoyed both You Were Here and If is Dead. Long Live IF. The loud criticisms of these pieces aren't exactly wrong, but they seem to willfully overlook what makes Houk's work special. In both cases, he uses the medium to celebrate the medium, and the results are funnier and more moving (if less in-depth) than, say, a comprehensive blog post. Yes, it was frustrating to read a great line in You Were Here and have no idea how to find the corresponding game, but my experience overall was one of admiration for all of the great stories that were told last year. I hope that Houk makes more pieces like these. He clearly loves IF, and I enjoyed seeing the medium from his perspective.
When I opened this game for the first time, I though that I've been scammed. I looked down and saw the 'Do you want to restart, restore...." text. Just before closing the game and deleting it, I remembered that it was a meta-game, which isn't really your normal IF game.
Upon typing ABOUT, I saw names. Way too many of them. It seemed to me that this game involved more than 50 authors in creating it! After quickly restarting the game and starting to read the text, it was pretty much disappointing. What I'm reading is the first part of some IF game released last year. There's no title of what game it's suppose to be too, so I had no idea how I'm going to relate the text to anything. You can't do anything unless you actually played ALL the IF games published this year, which I guess is in the hundreds.
Typing RESTART again brings you yet to another set of text, which you are suppose to guess what you are reading. The next result is always randomized, which sounds nice, but might eventually bring you back to what you've read earlier. Most of the text are short, but you can find some long ones to read once in a while.
Some of the games that I've recognized included Hill 160 and Aleticorp, though a significant portion of text included are in a foreign language, like German or French? I'm not too sure myself. It's too bad I couldn't understand them, or it might have made the experience more enjoyable.
While playing, I constantly wished for a better and easier way to play this game, rather than typing RESTART every time I read the text. Maybe a 'G' or something?
Basically, this is an unique game, but it's presented in the wrong way. Rather than just putting some words that is expected for people to understand, a title of what the text is about or maybe more interaction is definitely appreciated! Maybe one or two turns of the games included in You were here!
So if you have nothing much to do, you can just check how IF is going with this game. There are 2 versions of this game, one for Twine and another for the Z-machine. I recommend the Twine version, unless you want to keep typing RESTART every 10 seconds in the game. 2014 isn't too bad a year for text adventures, so I what you read shouldn't be too bad! Thanks for reading!
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