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About the Story
A "map" of the mysterious town Fahlstaff.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Fahlstaff is a mysterious town, once a logging town, but now it boasts a vibrant arts scene and other natural attractions. Tour through this strange place with this map!
Map of Fahlstaff is written like a promotional leaflet, and has no real plot or goals. Instead, it is mostly about exploration. There are snippets alluding to the town's history and references to rumours. The writing has a distinctively 'Welcome to Night Vale' air - the commonplace mixes with news of the mysterious and the subtly ominous.
There is never really anything malevolent beyond that vague sense of dread, though, giving the game a general feeling of benign detachment. There are, however, some narrative events which are triggered by the one choice you make right at the beginning of the game, which made the game feel more like something living and active under your hands, rather than just something to be poked at.
The game is also prettily designed, with photographic backgrounds for each scene, though this sometimes made the text hard to read.
The tone fluctuates between sombre, PSA-style (again, like Night Vale) and conversational; I would have loved if the tone was a bit more consistent. Nevertheless, on the whole Fahlstaff is quite the charming town.
Map of Fahlstaff is a Twine piece that acts as a kind of virtual tour guide. There's a pretty high degree of spatiality here; you can very easily "navigate" the city's sights, with only occasional deadends.
The writing is very sharp--while moving around the city the narrator acts as a tour guide of sorts, with plenty of oddball commentary, with a cheery tone that quickly gains dark undertones. This reminded me a great deal of some of the content of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast (although perhaps a little gentler), or the world of Twin Peaks or the town of Greenvale in Deadly Premonition. There are also a couple of narrative events that are triggered as well, giving a sense of immediacy and interconnectedness between the different parts of the city. The fact that this, hopefully, the first part of a series is exciting.
If I had some complaints, it would be only two things: occasional typos, and the background images taking a bit too long to load. The first should be an easy fix; don't know about the latter. They are, however, gorgeous, drenched in slightly sepia undertones.
In conclusion: if you're a fan of uneasy ambulation and strong sense of place, do yourself a favor and pick up this map.
This game is a luscious set-piece with nice graphics and infrequently changing links.
You wander around a city called Fahlstaff, absorbing local culture. Occasionally bizarre events will hapoen.
You make a choice at the beginning that determines the bizarre events. My choice led to some truly clever ideas.
The game seemed to have no ending.
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