Number of Reviews: 4
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Hypertext Will Eat Itself?, October 3, 2015
One expects a certain amount of linearity with Twine games, and A Figure Met in a Shaded Wood is no exception. The game itself is unique in that it attempts to justify this non-interactivity as a mechanic. Whether this is a high-brow metacomment on modern interactive hyperfiction, or just a way to make you think you're playing a game when you're really not, is a hard question to answer.
The story tells of a vagrant's venture through the woods, and an encounter with a mysterious tarot-card reader. The writing is captivating and flows well with the format. I found no difficulty in following the story, and the imagery was vivid in my mind.
One could argue that the symbolism of tarot is a bit of a cop-out. What easier metaphors are there for an author to take advantage of than the famed mystical cards?
I noticed a couple of logic errors. Certain actions were reflected upon that I made the choice not to do, and a non-existent racoon was mentioned.
The passages are repeated often when the player takes a different route, and again attempted to be justified by the "wheel of time" approach this game takes. I don't buy it.
Is A Figure Met in a Shaded Wood a comment on free will and fate, or is it an attempt at subverting the criticism that many choice-IF games recieve? The reader in me says the former, and the cynic in me says the latter. Either way, work of the depth to make me ask the question is worthy of some praise.