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About the Story
Call upon the power of your cursed Demon Mark to battle dragons, witches, and an undead army! Beware: each time you use it, the Mark grows stronger.
Number of Reviews: 1
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This game, like so many other Choicescript games, has a pretty bad beginning followed by a much better middle.
I found the opening very slow, with children's book-style writing and very slow plotting. The second chapter was also fairly slow, and I found it difficult to push through, one of the openings I struggled the most with.
The middle was wonderful. I enjoy being exposed to other cultures, and Baba Yaga is about the extent of my knowledge of Russian folklore. However, every Russian I've seen comment on the game says that it portrays the folklore inaccurately or poorly. On the other hand, though, every such comment I've seen has also included a complaint about how the your sibling is non-binary (which you find out by them telling you they don't think they're a girl or a boy near the beginning). So I can't tell if it's actually really bad representation, or if people hate the non-binary thing and that makes them inclined to attack the rest of the game.
But as a fantasy story in general, I liked the middle. You have a choice of three extremely powerful villains to deal with. I faced a seven-headed dragon and a necromancer.
The ending was fairy tale-like, with simple surroundings and simple solutions. It felt like it fit the story, but wasn't the most satisfying ending, as it didn't tie up every narrative arc (the most thorough tying-up I've seen is in Herofall).
This game's approach to challenges had a lot of pass/fail with no real benefit to failing. That makes sense in some games; but with no undo (like in parser games or in Heroes Rise's legend-point-retry system), a long linear game like this with many chances of failure is too tedious to replay a lot. And another thing this game does that some other Choicescript games do is having a long series of difficult tests right after each other, where failing even one is heavily penalized. Much better is the system in Choice of Robots, Creme de la Creme or Tally Ho where your failures provide as compelling a story as your successes.
Nevertheless, the game was polished, descriptive, I found much of the interactivity interesting and I was emotionally invested. I'd probably give this a 3.5, but rounding to a 4.
I received a review copy of this game.