Number of Reviews: 5
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4 people found the following review helpful:
High school ghost investigation with teen romance, September 22, 2019
I had this game mixed up with the short Birdland sequel Open Up, and so I never got around to playing this until after the XYZZY Nominations. Then I had to see what it was all about.
Brendanís writing is what I wish I could write like. Characters are so vivid, and the text takes startling turns of phrase that you canít help from laughing at. The characters felt alive to me.
Part of that left me with a bad aftertaste in a way that a lesser artist couldnít do. The events in the game are the kind of thing I was terrified of growing up. My area had a lot of teen pregnancies and deaths from alcohol and drugs that affected people I knew. The idea of going to parties where all the highschoolers are getting drunk, watching each other have sexual experiences, using drugs, and having young men who wonít listen to Ďnoí (like Jayden) wander around seems like a reminder of personal nightmares.
But I donít believe thatís what the author intended. Games are a Rohrschach test that brings out whatever the reader is thinking. I wouldnít have had such a strong reaction to the game if Brendan hadnít written such strong characters.
The rest of the game is wonderful. The use of emoji is like a comedy version of 10pm, and the overall mystery and romance were well done. I liked the use of red options to distinguish paths that were very different from the others. It made choices feel more significant.
I also found the structure really interesting, with conversations like multi lane highways and exploration segments like city streets.
This gameís craft level is very high, and Iíve found myself thinking of it frequently in the last few days as Iíve been working on my own games.