Mother Tongue

by Nell Raban

Slice of life

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Number of Reviews: 8
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A cute text conversation narrative, October 21, 2020

Mother Tongue tells the story of a character whose mother wants to impart lessons in Tagalog, in the process exploring the ambivalence of what it means for second-generation folks to discover parts of their identity.

I found the framing device of a text conversation very effective; the chat screen and the little moments waiting for a response from the mother help to create a realistic and compelling flow. There’s also good use of subtext to develop the relationship underlying the language lessons.

Though it’s interesting to learn words and grammar in Tagalog, the game’s use of lots of “test” questions makes this sometimes feel more like a language learning app than a game/story. There are great moments where the language lessons serve the narrative, and I wish those had outweighed the more rote testing moments that focus on rule recall.