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About the Story
Your girlfriend has gone to work and you're alone in the house. What will you do? Learn a new language? Take up an instrument? Train for a marathon?
54th Place - 22nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2016)
The Breakfast Review
Well, this was bleak, but at least it was short. I guess we're someone suffering from depression, and we're just pottering around one evening before our roommate gets home from work, and we're prostrated by all the stuff we need to do in order to get our life in order and we can't, we just can't. We find a trumpet and play a few notes, but our crushing self-hatred gets in the way. The ending does suggest a spot of hope, but that is about it.
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Number of Reviews: 4
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(This review originally appeared as a blog post of mine during IFComp 2016.)
Short, existential Twine game in which you specify the manners in which you will veg out in the house during your girlfriend's next night shift at the pickle factory. This is an experience hailing from the drab end of the slice of life cake. You can think about the bedclothes, fiddle a bit with the bedclothes, clean objects in several boring stages. Your character is clearly depressed, as the prose is insistent about the pointlessness of any activity. A few prose studs of specificity about the characters' shared life don't make up for the more macroscopic lack of specificity that prevents any insight into their plight over the short duration.
Perhaps this is the Twine equivalent of the parser world's 'My Crappy Apartment Game'. The apartment is still there, but the focus shifts to the immediate crappy existential rather than the immediate crappy physical. 'All I Do's...' observations of fiddly-stuck depression make for better writing than that of most My Crappy Apartment games, but its small catalogue of anxious domestic activity didn't interest me because I knew almost nothing about the characters, before or after.
This is an entry by Megan Stevens, who has been doing her own thing in IFCOMP for several years. She doesn't focus as much on styling or complex link structures. Instead, her games focus on serious life events and a sort of grey evocative feel.
This game is about depression. It's short, but I found parts of it effective, especially the scene displayed in the cover art.
This game has a single, pretty much unnecessary strong profanity. It also references depression, obviously. If you like this game, you should try her other work.
[Time to completion: 5-10 minutes]
This is a game about inertia. Every action you, the player, try to do is met with a refusal to do it: it's too daunting, it's too meaningless, it's too disgusting...
Conceptually, it's similar to Depression Quest, except that this game frames the PC's life in relation to Evie, their - I can't remember if it was explicitly said, but implicitly - the PC's partner, or at least girlfriend. However, it's very short, and it doesn't give a huge amount to judge it by. I can see it being expanded out, though. Even if some readers might tire of inhabiting the body of a PC who's tired all the time, the game as it stands makes me interested about, for instance, Evie.
I particularly liked this line: "You're good at pushing things, mostly because you have to push yourself to do anything, whether it's brushing your hair or getting a drink of water or going swimming with Evie. For that reason you're good at pushing everything back in the closet."
What really redeems it and lightens the tone of the game is how it ends on a hopeful note, which counterbalances the mood so far.
This is a game about lacking motivation, so the default look is at least thematically fitting, although it does not make it feel less lackluster.
I enjoyed it perhaps more than I should judging by its quality as it hit a little close to home in some ways. I actually like default Sugarcane, but I have to admit the text is hard to read unless zoomed in.