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About the Story
You're a suburban teen, sick of the suburbs. You run away to the land of the fairies, prepared for thrills and danger. Absolutely nothing happens the way you expect.
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Number of Reviews: 4
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Besides being amusing, absorbing, excellently written, cozy and generally making you warm inside, the games by S. Woodson also demonstrate an interesting approach to branching in an interactive story.
There's a sort of contradiction in choice-based puzzleless IF. On one hand, linearity is usually considered a drawback; most players want to feel that their choices really matter and substantially affect what happens, want the game to be truly interactive. On the other hand, in a significantly branching story the player will only see a small part of what's written by the author, can easily miss the best bits; the ratio of the player's enjoyment to the author's labor is low.
It would be great to make the players restart the game and explore all the various plot paths; but motivating them to replay many times and read different variations of the same story requires some serious stimulation.
In the games by S. Woodson - this one, ♥Magical Makover♥ and Beautiful Dreamer - different story branches entwine and interact with each other to form a kind of higher unity; some paths throw light on enigmatic elements of the other paths, make you see your previous game sessions in a new way - and even revisit them because, as it turns out, you didn't pay proper attention to something curious. They are all different elements of the same picture, and you want to see the picture whole.
(Narcolepsy by Adam Cadre utilized the same idea, though less effectively: the crazy guy in the university plaza always gives you hints referring to other storylines.)
In both ♥Magical Makover♥ and Beautiful Dreamer, there's one "main" branch - the one which is central to the picture and which the player is most likely to find first.
In ♥Magical Makover♥, it's the one featured on the cover art - the only one where the protagonist's initial goal is reached. If, say, the player tries three different random products on their first playthrough, they get this branch with the probability of 60%.
In Beautiful Dreamer, it's talking to Cephiros about the moth - which has the highest priority among all the topics the protagonist may discover.
Get Lost!, which is much smaller than the former two games, lacks the "main" branch: all the paths are of equal importance.
You are a suburban teen and you're tired of your boring, non-magical, human life. Maybe if you go out into the woods where the faeries roam, you can join them - maybe... Of course, that depends on whether they'd want you or not.
Like Beware the Faerie Food You Eat, Get Lost! is a riff on fairy-related tropes, but where BtFFYE is grim, Get Lost! is a merry romp through encounters with jaded, ill-tempered fae. The protagonist's idealistic conceptions of the fae, combined with a comprehensive knowledge of folklore, is quickly frustrated by the ironically mundane nature of the fae themselves.
Woodson's writing sparkles with life, and the broadly branching game structure makes replay richly rewarding. This game is quite short - it took me about 15 minutes to play it through once - so it should make for excellent lunchtime play.
This game is about a young person who longs to be free from the mundane world. They try to escape, and begin to find the faery world.
The game has a variety of branches, picking from 2 sets of three big options and many smaller ones.
The game is very successful at creating and maintaining a wistful, deep atmosphere.
S. Woodson is a talented author, and it comes out in this brief game.
|Beware The Faerie Food You Eat, by Astrid Dalmady|
Average member rating: (26 ratings)
They say that some of the faerie folk can grant wishes, that they can give gifts to that who gain their favor. Now, you’ve found a portal into their world and you’re ready to step through and claim that prize. But you don’t come...
|Guttersnipe: The Baleful Backwash, by Bitter Karella|
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
It's 1929. Incorrigible street urchin Lil' Ragamuffin and her sewer rat pal Percy have been imprisoned in the cellar of the Baleful Backwash speakeasy by dastardly gangsters. Save Percy and evade bootleggers, bluesmen, and bedeviling...
|Sétanta - Au Cœur Du Labyrinthe, by Luigi June|
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
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