External Links


Play Online
Play this game in your Web browser.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

Cactus Blue Motel

by Astrid Dalmady profile

2016

(based on 78 ratings)
13 reviews

About the Story

Somewhere between New Mexico and Arizona, three friends were driving through a barren desert of red rocks, and wide empty skies. It was the end of summer, the end of high school, the end of so many things.

And then they found the Cactus Blue Motel.


Game Details


Awards

Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Winner, Best Setting; Winner, Best NPCs - 2016 XYZZY Awards

3rd Place - 22nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2016)

36th Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition)


News

Save states and a walkthrough have been added to the online version of Cactus Blue Motel.
Reported by dastridly | History | Edit | Delete
Expand all | Add a news item

Editorial Reviews

The Breakfast Review
One issue with a lot of morality games is that temptation is so clearly temptation, and so distant from the player, that it's laughably easy to simply pick the right answer no matter how the protagonist has been characterised. Here, the temptation is more subtly drawn, and even though there seems to be hardly any assertion that we are tempted, we wonder if, after all, staying might be the right thing to do ... and in the end, it really is up to the individual player to decide whether one ending is any better than another. Well done.
See the full review

Rock Paper Shotgun
IF Only: All about Setting
In common with several of her previous pieces, itís playing with the awe-inspiring and the mystical that underlies reality. But the dialogue goes deeper, the characters are more developed, the pacing more confident.
See the full review

Giant Bomb
IFComp 2016: Five Authors and Six Games
Itís a magical realist story about the end of adolescence, feeling unmoored from a longtime group of friends, and the uncanny feeling of being in a strange place with a group of people you think you know very well.
See the full review

Stephen Granade
Let's Play Interactive Fiction Ep 4: Cactus Blue Motel
I play Astrid Dalmady's game "Cactus Blue Motel", where I go to a magical motel in the middle of the desert with two of my high school friends. It's totally not a Hotel California situation.
See the full review

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
(31)
4 star:
(35)
3 star:
(9)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 13
Write a review


Most Helpful Member Reviews


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
I was there, November 7, 2016
by streever (America)

This piece transported me to my own confused teenage years. Trying to sort out my future, scared of adulthood, pushed by forces beyond my control, I desperately could have used two close friends, a road trip, and a magical motel.

Strengths include fantastic writing throughout, a sense of place, strong characters, and a powerful voice from a talented writer.

Weaknesses: Where is my soundtrack? What is the url for the motel website? How can I visit here? Why isn't there more? Will you write more? Can I subscribe to your email list?

OK, so maybe those aren't actually 'weaknesses' in the commonly accepted meaning of the word, but come on, let me visit the Cactus Blue! :)

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | View comments (2) - Add comment 

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Beautifully presented, but could have been better written, September 3, 2018

This game left me feeling a little unsatisfied.

There were strong horror vibes that I felt could have been emphasised a little more, which would have added greatly to the atmosphere, even if the piece as a whole was not aiming to be a horror story.

Dialogue felt somewhat canned, and at times melodramatic, punctuated with grammatical inconsistencies. The conclusion also felt simplistic, with the tensions between the protagonist and each of her two friends left unaddressed. While another outburst wouldn't have been desirable, I think a little more resistance from Lex and Becky, and from the protagonist herself, wouldn't have been amiss. (Glancing through the other reviews, however, which praise the game's writing, I seem to be in the minority here.)

I think a large part of my disappointment with the game can be attributed to how much promise it showed. The cover art is gorgeous, as are the title screen and the neon text prevalent throughout the game. Given the coherence of this theme, I was expecting an equally high level of crispness for the story, which unfortunately fell short, in my opinion.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A heavily location-based long Twine with excellent styling, May 23, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

It took me 209 choices to complete this game on my third playthrough.

This game took third in IfComp 2016, but as of this writing, it has the highest rating and number of ratings on IFDB.

In this game, you arrive at and explore a mysterious old motel with a supernatural flair. The game uses two main types of links: mostly-static location-based links for movement, and then conversation/emotion links for small scenes that play out as you move.

The two kinds of links are very consistent, making for some great gameplay. The styling is also good, with some nice animations and fonts and colors.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

See All 13 Member Reviews

Cactus Blue Motel on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Cactus Blue Motel appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Twine games with free range of movement: A personal list by Kinetic Mouse Car
Free range of movement means the gameplay has parser qualities without the parser part. It allows you to wander around and interact directly with objects or talk to characters in your environment. This list does NOT require games to have...

Top 20 by 2019 by kala
I have followed the one work per author rule.

Favorite "atmosphere" games by MathBrush
These are games that are fun because of the atmosphere and plot more than the puzzles. These games are not too hard and not too easy. They generally have a big over-arching theme. I have included most horror and comedy games in other...

Polls

The following polls include votes for Cactus Blue Motel:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Games of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

Games for introducing teens and tweens to interactive fiction by albie
Looking for Twine games (ideally) that are appropriate for 10-16 year olds. Bonus points if it has an interesting/fun story or showcases some of the cool stuff that can be done with this medium. Thanks! :)

Choice-Based Games with a Spoke and Hub Structure by J. J. Guest
After playing a couple of the Fabled Lands gamebooks, I noticed they use a Spoke and Hub structure. I'm interested in choice-based IF games which use a similar structure. Sam Kabo Ashwell's blog post "Standard Patterns in Choice-Based...

See all polls with votes for this game




This is version 7 of this page, edited by Zape on 19 September 2023 at 1:21am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page