The Lift

by Colin Capurso


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Elevated Levels of Mediocrity, February 8, 2013
by Paolo Jose Cruz (Manila, Philippines)

The Lift is a Twine-based survival horror CYOA that appears to be set in some kind of monster-containment facility (think Cabin in the Woods meets the Umbrella Corporation headquarters). With an amnesiac protagonist and scant background details, there isn't a whole lot of emotional investment. So far, so typical, which means it has to rely on its design to work. Unfortunately, author Colin Capurso seems more interested in getting to the action than building a sufficiently mysterious atmosphere to draw readers in.

In short order, players are expected to choose their weapon, and ride the titular lift to one of the building's four levels. Each floor has a different kind of archetypal (read: cliched) horror threat. Each option is played completely straight, without the necessary deftness or panache to create a unique experience. The end result is a repetitive set of semi-consequential choices that branch out in thoroughly linear style. (I didn't even bother to check if the seemingly gratuitous porn-and-tissue diversion proves to be some kind of Chekov's Gun in any of the other endings.)

In the hands of a more skilled writer, the basic premise might have led to a fun but derivative CYOA. Unfortunately, Capurso's work falls short of both the writing skill and game design savvy to pull it off. For what it's worth, if he ever revisits this idea after honing his craft, I would probably give it another shot. But until then, this lift is out of commission.

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Andrew Schultz, February 8, 2013 - Reply
"This lift is out of commision." Heh.

The gratuitous diversion (Spoiler - click to show)does give a new ending: get the sword, get the tissues (but don't use them) and go to room B4.

I didn't actually remember. I just looked at the twine source. As a small intellectual exercise.
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