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A Single Word in Her Beautiful Calligraphy

by Christine Love

Historical
2010

Web Site

(based on 1 rating)
1 member review

About the Story

A story about the persistence of sadness.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Custom
IFID: Unknown
TUID: cb1safmq4cq9givh

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Member Reviews

Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful but somewhat frustrating, September 11, 2020

This game has many thematic similarities with Christine Love's other work: lesbians, historical East Asian cultures, and the oppression of women. I really enjoyed her games like Analogue: A Love Story, so it's fascinating to see how much she has evolved. The writing, characterization, and integration of historical themes are great, as expected, while the story is basically linear as far as I can tell.

The primary interaction mechanic is writing Chinese characters by mouse (or maybe finger or stylus?) on an HTML canvas. Sometimes, you are teaching others how to write characters. But the main events are the magic battles where writing certain characters can deal damage, heal you, or enhance your magical powers. This is a pretty unique mechanic in interactive fiction or even within games in general, and fits the theme very well.

Unfortunately, the handwriting input does not work well. Oftentimes, a correct character would not be recognized at all, or be recognized as a different character (I am a semi-native Mandarin speaker and these are mostly simple characters). The time-limited and tense battles makes this rather frustrating. Looking at other open source javascript hanzi/kanji recognition libraries, the results do not seem to be promising either. There have to be some solutions out there that would work (maybe if one looked beyond the English-speaking internet?)...


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