Drunken Mind Control Slaughter

by Tom Smith


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fun and original concept, but the lack of interactivity is detrimental, August 30, 2017

The title of this game led me to expect something pretty dark: both "mind control" and "slaughter" are heavy, frightening terms. In fact, the game turns out to be a slapstick comedy, if one with a nightmarish, Kafkaesque side (actually, isn't that true of most slapstick?). You're an ordinary guy, out drinking with friends on your birthday, when you try a mind-control drug. Things spiral out of control quickly.

The effects of the mind-control are funny, surreal, and lead to some original havoc. I won't spoil the events that ensue, since they're the best part of the story.

Sadly, this is one of those Twine games where the lack of interactivity is a negative. Drunken Mind Control Slaughter is not completely linear, but player choice is restricted to the ending. This bothers me, because the effects of the mind-control essentially set the player up with a puzzle: perhaps a difficult one, due to the chaos and the characters' lack of control, but original. Instead, I clicked my way through a mostly static story, without a chance to affect the action. Perhaps more interactivity would just have compounded the chaos, but that would be great for the comedy, too.

The characters are cyphers: good as slapstick props, but virtually blank otherwise. The writing is hardly great literature, but it's good enough. Most importantly, it's clear: more florid writing might have made the chaotic events more difficult to follow. On the downside, there were times when it felt slapdash. Slapdash isn't necessarily a negative: Porpentine has sometimes used a more informal tone without her games suffering for it. Here, however, it made the story feel skimpy in some places (such as in some of the ending scenarios) where more involved description would have added to the drama.

Not a bad story by any means: give it a playthrough, it's short and sweet. However, I would have enjoyed a way for the player to do more. The set-up is good enough that the lack of interactivity felt like a missed opportunity.