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About the Story
Better than Alone is an interactive novella about repetition and death. It is set in the midst of Melbourne's 2020 lockdown.
5th Place, Le Grand Guignol - English - ECTOCOMP 2020
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Number of Reviews: 3
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I did not experience this as a horror IF at all, but rather as a sad and personal story, a story that is depressingly relevant for many of us during the current pandemic. It is really well written, very emotional, and feels very real. The author provides the choice between playing a truncated or an extended version of the novella. I started out with the extended version but found it excruciatingly frustrating and changed to the truncated version after some minutes. I’m glad I tried the extended version first though; the frustration is indeed intended, and it does drive an important point across. While not exactly interactive in terms of choices, Better than Alone does use the medium of choice IF in an unexpected and elegant way.
Wow, powerful stuff. A post-Covid Twine game (with clay figure illustrations) in which you are a live-in carer for a dementia sufferer in his last days. Choice-based conversations with your patient and reminiscences about your own life and relationships are interspersed with a deliberately grindy series of repetitive tasks (cooking, cleaning, counting medicine, reading Pride & Prejudice) that make excellent use of mouse-over effects to dynamically modify the links, cleverly representing the ghost of the house messing with you (or are you just losing your mind during the lockdown?).
Characterization of the player-character and NPCs feels very real, full of flaws and conflicting emotions, thoroughly multi-dimensional, sometimes beautiful, sometimes chilling: "Mark these words: there is no hope of escape. Lockdown will not end soon, and there will always be more. This is only the beginning." There's lots to process in this one, lots of levels to analyse, the Jane Austen quotes being just the beginning.
Like Will Not Let Me Go, this story is a well-written long Twine game about the effects of old age and Alzheimer's/dementia on an elderly man and those around him.
It plays out over ten days and ten nights. You struggle as a young at-home attendant for an elderly man named Carl who wavers between lucidity and violent forgetfulness.
At night, you have 4 tasks, the same every night. On the fast version, you do these once, but miss out on some important plot points. On the slow version, you do them 10 times every night, but they're tricky and shift around in very plot-relevant ways.
The 10-times version is hard but rewarding the first night. By the third night, though, I misclicked five times in a row (which restarts the night) and had to stop. It's hard because the image pushes all the text below the screen, so I had to scroll down for each image on a trackpad laptop.
The images are gorgeous and really contribute to the game. I wonder if, for the nights at least, it could have helped to put the image to one side and the text to another.
In any case, the story was meaningful to me, especially talking about divorce and changing relationships with one's spouse. I loved it, and appreciate the author writing it.
Sting of the Wasp, by Jason Devlin
Average member rating: (32 ratings)
|Mindful, by Ian Michael Waddell|
Average member rating: (7 ratings)
My kitchen is my sanctuary.. Mindful is a game in which you create your own cooking blog. It is an entry in ECTOCOMP 2019 in the La Petite Mort category (under 4 hours creation time.)
|Cragne Manor, by Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna, Adam Whybray, Adri, Andrew Plotkin, Andy Holloway, Austin Auclair, Baldur Brückner, Ben Collins-Sussman, Bill Maya, Brian Rushton, Buster Hudson, Caleb Wilson, Carl Muckenhoupt, Chandler Groover, Chris Jones, Christopher Conley, Damon L. Wakes, Daniel Ravipinto, Daniel Stelzer, David Jose, David Petrocco, David Sturgis, Drew Mochak, Edward B, Emily Short, Erica Newman, Feneric, Finn Rosenløv, Gary Butterfield, Gavin Inglis, Greg Frost, Hanon Ondricek, Harkness, Harrison Gerard, Ian Holmes, Ivan Roth, Jack Welch, Jacqueline Ashwell, James Eagle, Jason Dyer, Jason Lautzenheiser, Jason Love, Jeremy Freese, Joey Jones, Joshua Porch, Justin de Vesine, Justin Melvin, Katherine Morayati, Kenneth Pedersen, Lane Puetz, Llew Mason, Lucian Smith, Marco Innocenti, Marius Müller, Mark Britton, Mark Sample, Marshal Tenner Winter, Matt Schneider, Matt Weiner, Matthew Korson, Michael Fessler, Michael Gentry, Michael Hilborn, Michael Lin, Mike Spivey, Molly Ying, Monique Padelis, Naomi Hinchen, Nate Edwards, Petter Sjölund, Q Pheevr, Rachel Spitler, Reed Lockwood, Reina Adair, Riff Conner, Roberto Colnaghi, Rowan Lipkovits, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Scott Hammack, Sean M. Shore, Shin, Wade Clarke, Zach Hodgens, Zack Johnson|
Average member rating: (16 ratings)
A tribute to Anchorhead.