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About the Story
Eczema Angel Orifice is a compilation of award-winning hypertext fiction by Porpentine Charity Heartscape.
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Eczema Angel Orifice has been out for a while now, but a new version was just released (I have it for Mac), so I thought it would be useful to finally add a review here on IFDB. This isn't a review for the individual games included, just a brief overview about the compilation as a whole.
Which is the first thing to mention. This is a compilation, and most (maybe all) of these games are available elsewhere. Some are easy to find, like Howling Dogs and With Those We Love Alive, but others require more digging. They're scattered across the web. Eczema Angel Orifice removes the need to dig. If you're a Porpentine fan, this compilation is even more convenient than her website to use as a library for her work.
Here's a list of all the games included:
(Spoiler - click to show)With Those We Love Alive
Ultra Business Tycoon III
High End Customizable Sauna Experience
Miniskirt World Network: Business Slut Online
Their Angelical Understanding
Sewer Diamond War of 3096
Her Car is the Edge of the World
Climbing 208 Feet Up the Ruin Wall
Faceless Genderless Amorphous Bonemass Hairbeast
Wild Wild Gender Mines
List of Hellgenders
The Sky in the Room
Miss Clemory and the Wall of Fire
One Move Boss
Eczema Angel Orifice is a single app. These games aren't separate files that you download in a zip folder and need to juggle around or anything. Like I said, it's convenient. When you open the app, the main menu is a list of all the games. You click one, and it loads right in the same window.
The menu itself is quite nice. Each title is presented on a banner with a background that matches the individual games (I especially like the one for Hairbeast). They're simple but evocative. It's interesting to just scroll through the list. In fact, the menu has its own score. That's not unusual for game menus, but here it feels as though the menu is designed as a place to explore, an environment in its own right. The design is by Neotenomie, who was also a collaborator for games like Neon Haze, and you can tell it was made with care.
You actually can spend quite a while exploring this menu too. Apart from the games themselves, it contains design notes for every game. Some notes are literally design notes. Others are reflections, ideas, moods. Long or short, they're all worth reading if you like Porpentine's work.
Another feature is a filter to sort the games by duration and tone. There are also notes about the content. The idea is that a player without a clear preference for what to play can use the filters to have the Orifice recommend a game. I'm not sure if this works or not, because it assumes you're unfamiliar with them and need help choosing one, and I was already familiar with most. Only someone coming to the work for the first time would be able to really comment. In any case, it's certainly not a bad feature to include. And if you want to double-check a game's content, you always can.
All the games have been polished. These are the best versions available. If you've already played the big ones, this is also a good chance to try some of Porpentine's lesser-known titles. I recommend Ballast, Her Car is the Edge of the World, and Contrition.
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