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CYBERQUEEN

by Porpentine profile

2012

Web Site

(based on 48 ratings)
7 reviews

About the Story

integration necessitates evisceration


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: December 16, 2012
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 8rib3ksuex22l5pl

Awards

6th place out of 902 entries, Mood - Ludum Dare 25

Editorial Reviews

Indiegames.com
...quite the masterpiece...
See the full review

Witchboy
praise from Harvey Smith (who worked on System Shock)
For deconstructing power fantasy; lovingly reminding me of System Shock, one of my favorite games of all time; for expanding the narrowly defined boundaries of video game subject matter; for excellent writing and a cutting sense of humor(?).
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(23)
4 star:
(11)
3 star:
(6)
2 star:
(4)
1 star:
(4)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 5
Write a review


Most Helpful Member Reviews


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Nightmares Made Flesh, July 10, 2013
by Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.)
Related reviews: porpentine

Play it if: you want a nearly-pure transformation of text into a visceral, cinematic experience.

Don't play it if: you have a weak stomach for just about anything that could reasonably be expected to make a human being queasy.

The first two words in this game are "wet" and "sticky". And if you think the use of sentence fragments as impressionistic descriptors is passé, the rest of Cyberqueen probably won't be to your taste, because what it mainly does - what it does best - is transplant the experience of fragmenting consciousness into writing.

Cyberqueen is a war between intimacy and grotesquery, violation and transformation. The tone and content draw from the erotic and the clinically repellent, switch between them and occasionally combine them. In a certain way it reminds me of the Guillermo del Toro film Pan's Labyrinth, which had the audacity to sew together a wondrous, childlike fantasy and a grim, horrifically real war story. In both cases, the achievement is admirable, though exhausting.

The tale itself reads something like a fusion of System Shock and parts of Ray Bradbury's The City. Interestingly enough the antagonist, while malevolent, is not entirely unsympathetic, though she certainly stretches and probably breaks the boundaries of what constitutes acceptable sympathetic behavior. In certain readings she might be taken to be the protagonist, albeit not the player character.

The nature of this work's structure makes me wonder if it can even be described as interactive fiction, because while you are ostensibly presented with alternative options the game is ultimately an extremely linear experience. You are certainly made to suffer the protagonist's fears, pains and frustrations, but the "interactivity" is illusory. ("Sorry to ruin your power fantasy," gloats the antagonist as she seals your fate.) "Cinematic prose", perhaps.

The story plays with themes of identity, both in an internal sense and in a physical sense; it preys on the communal horror of deformity and dysmorphia. Which is good - it's touching on things of great social relevance. But it doesn't really discuss them, preferring to let them come to fruition in a more emotional than intellectual sense. Forsaking both the pen and the sword, Cyberqueen attacks the human comfort zone by wielding itself like a chainsaw. This would be a flaw under other circumstances, but I get the distinct impression that this was the author's intended direction for the story and as a result I must call it a success.

So why five stars? Firstly, because it deftly exploits the medium in such a way as to charge up the emotional responses we are asked to give to the events of the story; and secondly, because it is a complete and unabashed triumph in terms of what it tries to be: a fleshy, palpitating tale of agonizing transformation that demands your attention.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
As a SystemShock/Shodan fan, I loved this., July 13, 2013
by Hanon Ondricek (United States)

This story reads like a prologue to the original System Shock from the point of view of one of the doomed colonists aboard Citadel station. If you've played SS, you remember the absolute unreal amount of gore and viscera and fragments of bodies that litter the hallways, all examples of the experimentation that the mad AI Shodan wrought upon the crew as she created her army of cyborg warriors that were your enemies in the game. This gives you a first person perspective of what that was like. Very gory, very visceral, very adult and would almost qualify as good enough to be one of the original computer logs in that game.


A brilliant SF game, April 5, 2020

Porpentine quotes herself Harlan Ellison as a major influence, but it seems obvious that Alien and 2001 also play a role in her inspiration. She does more than mixing all these well-known stories in a whole game, she moves the cursor higher and higher, until it reaches its conceptual limit. The result is a perfect piece of techno-horror.

The game is now directly available on the author website.


See All 7 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for CYBERQUEEN:

Top-notch horror or terror games by madducks
I'm looking for games that are the best representations of horror or terror in IF.

Emotional IF by Sorrel
I'm looking for IF that inspires one or more strong emotions in the player – an IF that pulls on your heartstrings a little.

Fate vs Free Will Games by loocas
I imagine that the interactive nature of IF would allow themes of fate and free will to be used powerfully. Perhaps the PC is given a glimpse of his or her future and the player tries to avoid it. Are there games in which this is done?...

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 7 of this page, edited by autumnc on 23 December 2020 at 7:55am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item