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Number of Reviews: 3
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You are part of a crew of four investigating a 32 year old derelict space ship. To say that standard space exploration horror tropes ensue is sort of accurate, but not in a bad way. It's a bit Event Horizon, but this is not a story about bloody alien/demonic rampage, although violence does occur.
Instead, it's a personal narrative that plays with agency. It's more of a game than the last few Twine stories I've reviewed, giving you choices at the story level instead of the "turn right at this hallway" level, which works very well. The story can play out at least three different ways, although with the same general outcome, but each one is surprisingly different and provides a smidgin more information about what's going on.
Lots of imagery is very well-written. I especially liked the description of the sense of infinite emptiness crossing from one ship to the other, and a description of weightlessness evokes spectacular imagery in the mind.
Originally I thought there was no denouement, until I tried one of the separate paths at the main fork. It is here that the story changes. I initially believed this was a false choice and would have the story end the same way, but although what happens is the same, there are three slightly different how paths here.
I liked The Cradle of Eve a lot. It has a very sure sense of its world, and changes the endgame of the story completely depending on your choice, although there's no way to change the outcome that I actually found. On first play I thought I had the whole story, and only playing the other two branches did I get the information that I actually wanted -(Spoiler - click to show)regarding what the entity in the seed actually wants to happen- but I still wish it was made clear whether -(Spoiler - click to show)is the seed using you opportunistically, or does it care about you? Apparently it's probed your memories and use them to its advantage, so I'm curious if the seed is actually malevolent or just doing what it needs to do to get planted.
Definitely play through if you get a chance.
Like much of Kitty Horrorshow's work, The Cradle of Eve boasts spectacular, fantastical usage of the English language to great effect, which has always been a point of interest for me personally when it comes to experiencing her games.
Unlike most of her work, however, I will not be revisiting this piece, and I mean that in the best way possible. I liked how the story changed slightly based on which branch you picked (Spoiler - click to show)regarding what to do with the seed your team finds in the Hydroponics room, and how new bits of backstory are revealed based on which location you enter. (Spoiler - click to show)When you select the "science lab," the imagery of seeds, greenery, and dirt mirrors those later on when you encounter the giant, living seed in Hydroponics. I feel that the full emotional impact the game has is amplified upon replays which each branch explored, (Spoiler - click to show)as was the case for me when I choose to cut the seed open and the team members started talking about ways to violate the woman inside the seed. I find this to be in stark contrast with descriptions of the people as reliable, to the point where the main character is crying after killing them, but that is perhaps all part of the appeal of IF, in that it takes full advantage of nonlinear storytelling to give players more autonomy than, say, a book might.
Few games have managed to impact me as strongly as The Cradle of Eve, and certainly few have done so with such short, yet powerful prose.
The story is captivating - as the other reviewer put it, fairly standard - science fiction/horror with apparent influence from titles in the genre like Alien, Event Horizon, and Sunshine.
As IF, it doesn't offer the breadth and depth of choice many readers might be searching for. As fiction and for sheer enjoyment factor, I give it 5 stars. It has some limited replay value, as certain choices you make influence the ending, although not enough to change it entirely.
There's some interesting fourth wall interplay only possible through IF, such as in one scene, where the user's input doesn't match the actions that happen next. A really interesting narrative choice that immerses the reader/play in the story and gives you the same sense of dissociation/out-of-body experience that is happening to the protagonist.
|CYBERQUEEN, by Porpentine
Average member rating: (59 ratings)
integration necessitates evisceration