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by Ondrej Odokienko and Senica Thing

Fantasy, Slice of Life

Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
4 reviews

About the Story

All four Mirror game books are a result of an assignment for the Senica Thing creative writing event which had taken place just before Spring Thing and at which the participating students and teachers were asked to exploit a theme/motif/topic of a “mirror” in their entries.

Organizer's note: This is a special entry, with four games presented as one. These games come from a classroom in Slovakia that encouraged students to enter a 'mini competition' called the Senica Thing. These students are looking to learn and grow, and would benefit from constructive feedback.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 5, 2023
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFIDs:  37D68291-BDE0-4301-B504-A0937AA8DF15
TUID: 83nvqwjjz0y347t

Referenced in Deep Dark Wood, by Senica Thing


Entrant, Back Garden - Spring Thing 2023


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Number of Reviews: 4
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
"Mirror, mirror on the wall", April 7, 2023

"Organizer's note: This is a special entry, with four games presented as one. These games come from a classroom in Slovakia that encouraged students to enter a 'mini competition' called the Senica Thing. These students are looking to learn and grow, and would benefit from constructive feedback."
— From the game blurb of Mirror.

I have henceforth decided to write my review in the form of letters (if it's not too inappropriate).


Dear Lilian Lalonder,

Your game was very imaginative. The language is very evocative of touch, feeling. e.g. (Spoiler - click to show)I liked that you took the time to describe the feeling of the glass under the protagonist's fingertips, or how the unnatural weather affected them. The endings were very creative and branched out, which I appreciated, if a little abrupt at times. Sometimes I had a little bit of trouble following the storyline, so you could work on strengthening the links between the events that occur in the story and maybe even some elements of the worldbuilding. It might also be nice if the reasons behind why certain things were happening (e.g. (Spoiler - click to show)the unnatural weather in the middle of August, the empty street and cars) were explained more.

Thanks! I had fun clicking through your game!

P.S. I really liked the titles for the endings you came up with! They were funny to read and generally encapsulated what had happened perfectly!

Dear Mihi,

(Spoiler - click to show)The idea of forcing your readers to stop when they pick a 'wrong' decision is ... a novel one. Generally I didn't really understand why an option was there if we couldn't really go through with making that decision. On the other hand it was funny to read how the narrator / the situation constantly changed to try to throw the reader off from making those particular choices, which despite reading as ridiculous, always had just enough logic to make it believable. If I'm honest, the ending was a bit infuriating because it really made it feel like the player had no agency at all throughout the course of the game (especially if you consistently chose the 'wrong' choices in the game).

I don't think you need to dispense with the idea altogether, but I do think you might want to try exploring scenes where the action is allowed to take place? What happens if the player does make the wrong choice (i.e. instead of the narration just going (Spoiler - click to show)"nope! you can't do that!").

Good job and keep on going!

Dear James,

Yours was the most alike to the traditional "parser" that I'm accustomed to seeing in the IF (interactive fiction) community. (Except, of course, that it was in hypertext.) Hence it felt very familiar and consequently was my favorite among the four (just as a matter of personal taste, nothing more). Your game really reminded me of (and I encourage you to check out these games if you haven't already, they might help you expand on the ideas you've had thus far) mutiple-ending Twine games such as 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds by Abigail Corfman, or even Insomnia: Twenty-Six Adventures After Dark by Leon Lin, which was one just entered in this year's Spring Thing (in the Main Festival)!

(Spoiler - click to show)It was nice that we had a checkpoint to go back to so that we wouldn't have to start from the beginning a bunch of times to explore all the endings. However, I'd advise against including things such as "You look around and find a secret trap door under the carpet. Do you want to explore it? YES / NO". Who wouldn't want to explore a secret trap door they find hidden under the carpet?! This is a very small nitpick, but perhaps try giving the player more realistic situations to romp around in.

Looking forward to more of your work!

Dear Dr. John,

I'm sorry, but I found your game very confusing. (Spoiler - click to show)Who is IXI? (An alien?) Why are we observing him through a GLASS WALL? What's the deal with the light? It seemed like we were supposed to turn it on, but I couldn't understand the game enough to figure out a way to do that. It sounds like you had a pretty ambitious idea, which got lost on the way because of poor execution. (Spoiler - click to show)It was also a bit annoying having to type in something (your name?) to the box every time I went back to that point to try and solve the game.

I'm not sure how much the language barrier played in making your game hard to understand, but perhaps try to go through your game from the position of a player — how much does each step make sense? Even better, get your friends or family to test your game for you. Or people you can be beside as they play your game, so that you can get feedback real-time on what's exactly not working each step of the way through your game.

I'm not sure how much help I was, but I'd like to see you take this game further (the idea seems really intriguing)!



* All four games would've obviously benefitted from better handling / editing of the English language. But we can obviously also be understanding in this case, as the authors are in Slovakia and aren't expected to have a perfect handle of English. (I wonder, were the works originally in Slovak and then translated into English (the most likely case), or were they written in English in the first place (not likely)?)
* I wonder if the students have been introduced to multimedia (graphics, audio) IF yet? Obviously it's fine to have work in just text, but I'm curious to know what they would've done with images or sound if they had access to / knew how to incorporate such things.
* The whole idea behind this bundle of works is very exciting. And novel, because I haven't really seen anything like it in the IF community before (I haven't been made aware of any if there is). There are jams, but they're grouped more under systems or a general theme or by creative process, how it should go, instead of, for example, a single object, a single thing, as was in this case. e.g. I'm curious to see, if we throw the theme 'Mirror' to the IF creation community, what they would come up with? In fact now I'm thinking about an annual comp, where a rather tangible thing is selected (different each year) and the participants have to make works spinning off that one 'thing' — no restriction in system or type of game, so parser and choice-based and all the in-between or outside-the-box games are all welcome. But this is just a thought, I don't have much realistic know-how or abundance of time, energy, skill behind it to back it up. There are already so many comps throughout the year anyways, and I'm not sure how much value this one idea would add to the mix. Anyways. It was just really interesting to see how differently each of the students' games turned out and how varied their approaches were, in regards to a single thematic subject (which is an object). Some interpretations were quite creative, even if the gameplay was lacking. All were very personable. Endearing, even, perhaps.

And that's the end of it! I don't know the ages of the students exactly, but I hope I didn't sound too patronizing with my words here.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Intriguing set of 4 micro Twine games on the theme of "mirror", May 16, 2023
by Vivienne Dunstan (Dundee, Scotland)

This is a set of 4 game books by students in a creative writing event in Slovakia. In this quick review I’m treating each one separately, as well as giving overall thoughts at the end.

Lilian Lalonder

This starts compellingly with a strange mirror, and then takes you into another place, and some really bizarre and creatively written outcomes. It’s good. And the English is strong. I played all the endings, and was glad I could see them all. This was probably my favourite of all the pieces.


This doesn’t use the theme “mirror” so immediately, and it comes later, and is used in a very clever way. It’s rather a neat tale of how you handle unexpected news. However it resists the player following certain paths through, which left me feeling a bit cheated. I wanted to see the outcomes of those decisions, even the ones I doubted were wise. I replayed several times to try to explore different routes. The core idea is really strong, well done to the author, but let us play through things. Don’t steamroller.


This is a multi part story, and feels more like a Twine version of a parser game than the others, which are more traditional Twine interactive stories. You start in a room with various objects you can examine, quite minimally described. And then see where you can get to. It’s quite a short piece, multiple branching narratives, but a quick fun explore, and an intriguing world. It also left me pondering at the end, which is good! And I was keen to replay, and explore different choices. Original use of mirror. Thanks!

Dr John

This one starts in all capitals, which was a bit of a shock to me. A mix of lower and upper case is generally friendlier for readers to read. It seems to be set in a strange world of reflections and observers, and stuff that is hidden. However I struggled to get a good outcome. At one point the game suggests you click randomly on every bit of blue text. I was exploring lots of options for ages, then suddenly had an idea of something to try. And got to a good outcome! So phew. It was very hard though. The scifi like setting was a nice contrast with the other three works.

This was an interesting set of micro short Twine stories. Each was unique in its approach, and together they showed a variety of ways the system can be used. Two of the games included input boxes asking you to type text in, and this was nicely used, especially in one of the games. And I liked the different approaches and genres e.g. fantasy, real world, slice of life, horror, sci-fi and also branching narrative versus geographical world model versus philosophical puzzle. So thank you all! I hope that there might be more from Senica Thing in the 2024 Spring Thing. New voices in IF are always welcome!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Mirror Mirror on the GHOUL, July 12, 2023
by JJ McC
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2023

Adapted from a SpringThing23 Review

Played: 4/18/23
Playtime: 30 min, all 4

An IF anthology! I LOVE that idea! (Notwithstanding from a certain remove Spring Thing itself is a functioning anthology.) This seems to be an umbrella release of 4 new-to-authoring student projects. Packaging together is a great move, as they are too slight to stand on their own, but that compactness is a strength in anthology format. Particularly since the common “use mirror somehow” prompt gives a unifying theme that still elicits maximum individual creativity.

In that spirit, I am changing my approach here, each substory will get a “Marketing Blurb” “Great” “Learning” and “Notable” reading.

Mirror by Mihi:
Blurb: “You’ve won the lottery, plan a trip! Wait…”
Great: Really liked the prioritized tasks/choices after the lottery - fun in specificity.
Learning: Choices that immediately reconverge are not choices! Easy to code, not too fun to play.
Notable: Leans more into the fiction than interactive, with legit narrative twist!

Mirror by Liliane:
Blurb: “If a mirror is a portal, it is a fragile, unforgiving one.”
Great: Smoothly surfing the ST23 zeitgeist of “find all the endings, and make them WILD”
Learning: A score of ‘endings found out of total’ is a tried and true way to keep player engagment.
Notable: Loved the embrace of arbitrary, bonkers end states

Mirror by Filter James:
Blurb: “If this is your house, why is everything…off?”
Great: Embraces classic IF find/unlock/explore tropes, but at breakneck speed.
Learning: Arbitrary puzzles and deaths work when pace is fast, would be contentious in longer works.
Notable: Mixes narrative and puzzle play! Always a winner!

Mirror by Dr. John:
Blurb: “Where are you? WHO are you? And why is IXI so interested?”
Great: This had the tenor of an abstract puzzle, compounded by intriguingly enigmatic players.
Learning: If it was an abstract puzzle, a ‘reset’ capability is key to giving the player deductive agency.
Notable: If it wasn’t an abstract puzzle (I didn’t solve it), the fact that it MIMICS one so well is actually kind of funny. The kind of gag well suited to short anthology.

Spice Girl: A whole band!
Vibe: Anthology
Polish: Distressed
Is this TADS? No. Get on that teach!
Gimme the Wheel! If this were mine, I’d take the extra step to wrap these 4 shorts into a single Twine interface. Maybe as simple as introduction/table of contents. Maybe a much cheesier Crypt Keeper type host and intro, replete with groan-inducing puns. Honestly? Definitely the latter.

Spice Girl Ratings: Scary(Horror), Sporty (Gamey), Baby (Light-Hearted), Ginger (non-CWM/political), Posh (Meaningful)
Polish scale: Gleaming, Smooth, Textured, Rough, Distressed
Gimme the Wheel: What I would do next, if it were my project.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The beginning of some fun games, July 16, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This set of 4 games was a special entry to the 2023 Spring Thing consisting of games written by a teacher and students for their own mini-Spring Thing.

Each game has the theme of Mirror, and I enjoyed seeing how that theme played out. In one, it was an incidental but crucial part of a real-life story; in others, it represented portals; in another, the device used to play the game.

Each game had some imaginative thought, but each could be significantly developed. Many stopped early, only partway through a story; all had a little bit of typos to be cleaned up; many had difficulty figuring out how to branch effectively (like offering choices but some choices are 'fake' and say 'you have to try the other choice'). The biggest thing they all need is time; however, for a school assignment, it is difficult to find such time. But I could see all of them making complex or richly descriptive games in the future.

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