Number of Reviews: 5
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Perplexing, with beautiful moments, September 7, 2012
Disclaimer : This is no interactive fiction in the usual sense, especially if you're expecting a parser. There be hyperlinks - yet it is essentially not a bad thing.
Myriad is something more akin to "nonlinear fiction", spreading from an origin like a concept map rather than a single story or even a set of alternate stories within a single background. And just as in a concept map, the links may be loose, and they may differ a lot in nature, so that simple hyperlinks are perhaps best suited for this task.
It is certainly neither the first nor the last work in that genre to rely on bits of dream logic and evocative imagery, so it is not the most original in its originality.
Yet I felt it was remarkably effective at depicting wildly different moods, from crudeness and baseness that could easily be off-putting at first* to snarkiness and tongue-in-cheek humor, to real moments of grace.
*(I am quite happy that I did not begin by taking a shower, else I might have believed the less positive reviews and stopped reading right there)
It is mostly due to these moments that I felt the need to come here and review this game, as there are passages of that kind of poetry that is unique to partially-interactive fiction, when you feel a metaphor unfold along your exploratory moves, despite not knowing exactly how (difficult not to think of The Space Under the Window in that respect).
The use of hyperlinks was sometimes a bit random (although it does convey the uncanny feeling of reminiscence, that of only a few, sometimes unimportant, sensations creating an association in the midst of many others) yet at other times it was remarkably ingenious, or even downright funny.
(Spoiler - click to show)THE DEAD ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE.
In the end, Myriad is more oneiric than most works in its category, as it is closer to the actual experience of dreaming - not strange sequences of events with leitmotivs a la Lynch, but more like shards of different realities competing for your attention, each having you convinced at one time that you're finally in the real one, but never fitting together as a linear narrative.
Or, I don't know, maybe I liked it for emotional rather than intellectual reasons, and I felt that people could benefit from knowing that it is good. I would not spend all day reading this kind of fiction, yet this one is definitely worth it.