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About the Story
Calm down. All you have to do is write a thousand words and everything will be fine. And you have all day, except it's already noon. [blurb from IF Comp 2008]
1st Place overall; 1st Place, Miss Congeniality Awards - 14th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2008)
Winner, Best Game; Winner, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best NPCs; Winner, Best Individual Puzzle; Winner, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 2008 XYZZY Awards
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Text-Based Computer Game Features Graduate Student as Main Character
This reporter, whom Violet nicknamed her vegemite, her muttonplum and her mintchip, could not get past Chapter 3. Along with the noisy neighbor, Julia, my character’s exhaustion prevented me from getting any work done. Which is too bad, I guess, because I’ll never know what surprise Violet said she had in store for her “randy little wildebeest” if he finished his paper in time.
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Jay Is Games
Ultimately, though, the formal invention of having the game speak in Violet's voice would not be worth much if the story weren't so well-observed... The main characters of Violet have real feelings for one another, and a real investment in their relationship — and underneath the goofiness and the cute pet-names, their problem is plausible and serious.
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Rock Paper Shotgun
Whilst playing, I certainly found myself questioning my relationship with my girlfriend, shall we say, and that recognition turned into open farce as the scenario escalated. I felt. I laughed. I enjoyed.
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The game's design makes solving each puzzle rather unrewarding. In a conventional adventure, a difficult puzzle solved usually means more rooms to explore, or some sort of significant narrative development. Here, it just means that you get to be thwarted in your efforts to write by something else. Sure, you're making progress, but it doesn't feel like terribly rewarding progress. And the thing is, the puzzles don't need to be this hard. All of the game's strengths -- the try anything to see what happens playfulness, the amusing narrator, the endless little gags and clever asides, and ultimately the resolution of the PC's romantic and career crisis -- would have stood just as well with more straightforward, clearly clued puzzles.
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Number of Reviews: 31
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
This game is as rock solid a piece of IF as I've seen in quite a while. It is a single room, single extended puzzle, written clearly. All the objects in the room are capable of being examined and most are, to a great degree capable of being manipulated.
The tone of the game may not appeal to all people. The major conceit of the game is that the narrative is told from the point of view of your girlfriend, Violet. All of the actions you take are commented on by her voice in your head. When you look at the room the game doesn't tell you the description so much as Violet relates the description to you in her own unique voice.
The plot and motivation are developed as the game progresses. There is no need for a lot of background feelies to get the player in the mind-set of the game. As the story developed, the solutions to each situation became increasingly bizarre. Also of note is the status bar in the game which clearly relayed what the next obstacle was in the sequence of this extended puzzle.
Overall, I found this a very satisfying piece of IF.
Violet is entirely responsible for rekindling my interest in interactive fiction recently. The interesting aspects of this game are amply highlighted in the other positive reviews here--that it's a single room game where everything, even metagame response, is conveyed in the voice of the protagonist's girlfriend. In the hands of a less capable author this would have quickly turned into an annoying gimmick, but Freese avoids that fate so thoroughly that I was actually sad when the game was over. Everything, from the nature of the puzzles (battling procrastination) to the never ending stream of increasingly bizarre pet names (lemon squidgie?), fits together perfectly, and almost nothing in the coding of the game was irksome. The single negative review below (at the time of this review) can only be the result of an unfortunate, soul-crushing cynicism.
After reading a review on here, I popped open Violet to read a few quick sentences. Unfortunately, I had to surrender my computer to my husband for an appointment 10 minutes later. Violet was so well-written and interesting that I ended up co-opting my husband's computer and downloading an interpreter so I could keep playing. The game was just too much fun to put down.
The narration in the game is entirely from the point-of-view of a girlfriend, and it sparkles. Almost every command you type evokes a witty response. As I played, I found myself falling in love with the girlfriend behind the keyboard who makes clever artwork and calls me cute pet names.
The puzzle behind the game is deceptively straightforward: you need to write. There are many highly entertaining distractions and the puzzles center around masking them. The solutions to the puzzles are logical and a built-in hint system helps keep you from getting stuck.
Everything about the game shines, from the well-implemented commands and descriptions to the strong and well-developed characters that kept me glued to the game until the finish. The writing is so good that you will want to play it again, just to see more of the fun distractions and hear more cute pet names.
See All 36 Member Reviews
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