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About the Story
Let me tell you the true secret of Christmas: Santa Claus died centuries ago. You see, in ancient times, as the Gods began to die, Santa Claus married a goddess. She was worshiped as Bast in Egypt, as Artemis in Greece, Diana in Rome. She's been called a witch, a hero, an assassin. You call her Mrs. Claus.
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: December 12, 2019
Current Version: 1
Development System: ChoiceScript
In the Service of Mrs. Claus: Another long review nobody asked for
In the Service of Mrs Claus is the author‘s first game. As such, it does suffer from some typical beginner problems (locking the players‘ path in too early, being too inflexible with the stats in late game, having a controversial main character and not explaining this choice). Nonetheless, I enjoyed it a lot. It‘s fast paced and fun without being superficial and it has a high replay value. I had a hard time putting this book down again after having picked it up. I definitely would buy other games by this author in the future and I wholeheartedly recommend this title.
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Number of Reviews: 1
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IFDB helpfully informed me recently that this is the only game that I've rated, but not reviewed. Time to remedy that, though apologies as, even though I've played this game three times, it has been at least a year since my last playthrough and my memory has faded a bit. This will be a shorter review than normal.
In this game you play an elf "In the Service of Mrs. Claus" who runs things at the North Pole (really another dimension populated by gods, dreams and things that go bump in the night), now that Santa himself is dead. You have a wide range of options in selecting your characters appearance and personality, and indeed a pretty wide range of options at almost every junction. I'm not familiar with the general Choice of Games style that much (though I hope to be more in the future), but I actually could have done with less choices. It seemed to me like they were coming at me pretty fast, and that the choices, especially at minor moments, where myriad and long. Thus, of all the words I read in this story perhaps a good 10% were not actually part of the story I chose.
The plot is wide ranging and deals with both magic and tech, with humans and your fellow extra-dimensional beings. There a bit each of mystery, romance, intrigue, combat, along with a heavy dose of magic. The game is very well implemented and even when choosing a wildly divergent path on the second playthrough I could see where the author had both incorporated my changes into pivotal scenes that I'd played through before, as well as providing new whole new scenes to enjoy.
In the end the plot just didn't quite grab me and I didn't feel as attached to the characters as I have in some other CYOA-type stories. It was fun with lots of variety, but didn't feel that deep to me. I hope the author tries his hand at choice-based work again though (he is better known for puzzle-centric parser games which are usually great). I think this game was a solid first effort and I'm eager to see what he comes up with next.
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