It

by Emily Boegheim profile

Slice of life
2011

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Number of Reviews: 2
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Not just fun and games, February 27, 2013
by Edward Lacey (Oxford, England)

Emily Boegheim's It explores the social dynamics among four girls (one of them the protagonist) engaged in a children's game like hide-and-seek. My first impressions were good, largely because the hiding game itself is well implemented. Room descriptions make spatial relations clear and have an appropriate focus on potential hiding places. SEARCH and LOOK IN/UNDER/BEHIND seem to be treated as synonyms, avoiding guess-the-verb problems. The other girls are realistically visible from a distance, and react to the protagonist's actions.

After the first playthrough (which doesn't take long), it's clear that the hiding game really isn't fair (at least not if you play by the rules), and that the characters have a personal and emotional stake in the outcome. Replaying several times is expected, and It is polished enough to make that enjoyable. NPC actions are not randomised or especially complicated, so with knowledge from replays, engineering a desired outcome isn't too difficult. It's also possible to disregard the hiding game, and some of the most memorable endings can be found this way.

It feels genuinely interactive in that the player can try nearly any plausible action, and more often than not be rewarded with a novel outcome or further insight into the characters and their relationships. In my case, the result was that I ended up trying to find as many endings as possible still treating It as a game even when not trying to win the internal hiding game. Someone less concerned with exhausting the available possibilities might be satisfied by finding a single appropriate response to the unfair situation that It portrays. On either approach, It ought to be rewarding.