A Figure Met in a Shaded Wood

by Michael Thomét profile

Surreal
2015

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Number of Reviews: 4
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Stylish little Twine piece, October 3, 2015
by streever (America)

I initially found the language a little challenging; this game takes place with a separation of player and character that confused me slightly. I think it ultimately works, but it wasn't easy at first to identify my actions with the character.

I really liked the atmosphere, style, typography, and design of this piece; I enjoyed following through it. I enjoyed making decisions as I played. Perhaps it's a bit of a (very minor) spoiler, but I'm not sure how I felt about the lack of consequence to my choices. Is it a meta-commentary on Interactive Fiction? Part of the decision-making process for many players is about establishing their identity and playing with hypothetical scenarios that let you project a possibly idealized self-identity. I didn't bury the apple core because I would do that in real life; I also didn't do it to 'win' the game or 'follow the good path'. I did it because I like to think that I would do it, and I liked that the game let me express that level of conscientiousness and thoughtfulness.

I don't know how I feel about the ending, and I don't know if I enjoyed the experience when I got to the end; the game features a lot of repetition, and nothing I did made any change to the outcome. I think I'm OK with that, but it did detract from my enjoyment of the game. I think it was brave of the author to play with the expectations of players, which makes me think it's worth trying, even if it fails ultimately; it's hard to deliberately end a game in a way that may be dissatisfying to the player, and I think that was the decision made here. That, combined with the styling, atmosphere, and sense of mystery, make this a worthy play.