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Fantasy prototype?, February 12, 2024
She Rises is a short fantasy adventure, looking more like a prototype than a fledged out story. Set in an unnamed fantasy kingdom, you play as Princess Arcadia, who just learned of her father's death and the loss of an important artefact. To ensure the safety of the kingdom, you must find said artefact and bring it home.
The setting is a bit silly, with (Spoiler - click to show)a diamond fork being the only thing ensuring the safety of the kingdom, or the fact that no one but her tries to avenge her father's death. This may be due to the formatting of the text, as some sort of script/theatre piece, but a lot is glanced over for the sake of moving the story along. There is little breather for Arcadia to grieve her loss, not much kerfuffle to prepare the journey, or anyone pulling the Queen left and right to handle affairs, as if the kingdom runs just find without the monarch or no one cared much about the passed king... It's a bit strange?
Gameplay wise, you are given two choice blocks: where to get information to retrieve the artefact and which path to follow. It is a bit of a shame, as the latter part of the story has multiple opportunities to include branching and add to Arcadia's growth as a new monarch, like: (Spoiler - click to show)whether to fight or convince the Vikings blocking her from getting the map, continue or retreat on the difficult journey when following the seer's/map's path, avoid fighting the person protecting the slave, talk to the slave who stole the fork... or even stay back at the castle and send a party to retrieve the fork. Even if those choices fail, it would have helped against the feeling of lacking agency, especially during the beats with tension. As is it, you are more strung along than actually leading the search.
Another small thing about the available choices: the game shows the player a binary choice with the potential actions, which is repeated just above the listed action in plain text - options introduced above said line in the actual story. This repetition felt pretty unnecessary...
Interface wise, there was a bit of an issue with the display of new passages. After clicking a link to a new page, the text doesn't scroll back to the top, you have to do it manually. This spoils the story quite a bit...