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Short but Effective, April 12, 2023
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.