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About the Story
An auto-biographical story.
67th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
The Gaming Philosopher
The Surprise is not trying to do anything major or epic, but it shows us something that is human and as significant as anything can be in a human life. And, if I may be forgiven a horrible pun, it does that one small thing surprisingly well.
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This game took me by surprise in that it is a hypertext choice-based game that is basically one big puzzle that involves clicking the choices in the right order. It takes place during a critical moment in a woman's life that is pretty much spoiled from the beginning ((Spoiler - click to show)she finds out she's pregnant, presumably for the first time). There isn't a lot of dwelling on the emotions or impact of the moment, each screen is only 2-3 sentences long until you get to the end. It is mostly the mechanics of moving around performing the actions in the right order and in the right place to get to the ending. It just struck me as weird.
It also involves the dreaded timed-text several times.
This game reminds me of one I've looked for for years. In 2015, when I started playing IF, I played a parser game where you've just had a fight with your husband, and you eventually find (Spoiler - click to show)a used pregancy test in the trash. It was very short, and it comes to my mind often.
This game is a choice game, but has a similar theme. With only a few links in the game, it manages to be pretty tricky at times to advance the story. The styling has been modified somewhat, most notably by some timed text which is pretty appropriately used here.
It's hard to get emotionally involved in such a small game, though, and there is a tug of war between the puzzly link interaction and the heartfelt story. I feel like the interactivity doesn't pair well with the drama.
In any case, as a person I can identify with this moment and the feelings involved, and it brought back vivid real-life memories. I wish them the best!
This is version 4 of this page, edited by JTN on 11 December 2020 at 6:55pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item