At King Arthur's Christmas Feast

by Travis Moy

2021

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A Choicescript adaptation of Gawain and the Green Knight, October 14, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

Adaptations in IF are generally very tricky. The list of failed or mediocre adaptations is long (including my own Sherlock Holmes game) while the list of good ones is very brief (such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). The biggest problem is that novels and stories are 'on rails' and are centered on one pre-determined path, while Interactive Fiction invites exploration.

This one does well, I think. Part of that is due to the author's talent at adaptation. The other may be because the original tale includes parts that describe what 'would have happened', which can be incorporated into the text.

You play as Gawain, and the story follows the original tale pretty faithfully. A strange knight comes to Arthur's court and you are soon entangled in a quest. You find a strange castle where the host is kind and generous while the lady of the castle pursues you.

Variables are tracked in this game, but not that many stats seem to be. There is generally one ordained 'right path' but many scenes have multiple interpretations and solutions regardless of your desire (for instance, is it better to admit fear or not to have it at all?)

The game has strong themes of violence and sexuality, but treats both of them more as abstractions or threats or desires with moderate ​detail.

In both the online version and the downloaded version, the chapter headings were broken and I couldn't see what they were. That, and a stray typo, were the only bugs I saw.

I took several days to finish this because I kept getting distracted by work. The actual writing isn't that long, but I wasn't grabbed in by the text; or, perhaps, it was difficult to process my emotions about the strange tale (which applies to the original).

In any case, this exceeded my expectations and is one of the better adaptations I've ever played. I don't see myself revisiting it, as it resonated negatively with some personal experiences I had (by no fault of the author), but it is otherwise polished, descriptive, with good interactivity and emotional impact.

(Edit: I'm listting this as 2 hours, because I lingered over it, while others have said it took them only 1 hour going fast).