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About the Story
Relax at the Jewel Pond Recreation Area with Ryan Veeder as your guide.
Nominee, Best Setting; Winner, Best Implementation; Nominee, Best Use of Innovation - 2019 XYZZY Awards
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Number of Reviews: 3
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This game is the "Joe Pera Talks With You" of interactive fiction.
Ryan Veeder's Authentic Fly Fishing makes up for every Inform game that's ever felt like a blank room with puzzle components glued down in front of you. The environment is solid and dynamic, but not overly dense: perfectly balanced. And it's very candid about its limitations. That isn't a downside: by gently explaining the walls of our comfortable game of pretend, we can preserve our own immersion by staying inside those walls and sitting by the lake together and doing as much or as little as we'd like today.
My one complaint is that Ryan Veeder is (Spoiler - click to show)terribly mean about insects' appearances.
Cast your rod here and get immersed in a game / story which will have you hooked - just don't forget to wear those waders!
As promised, this game presents us with a well-realized retreat with trails, birds and fishing badges aplenty - but keep wandering and you'll find that there's definitely more than meets the eye after your first day or two...
Playing this game through Ryan's website brings an innovative save process to revisiting Jewel Pond. The game keeps all your progress and even arranges your cabin just how you like it... meanwhile, you're gently encouraged to play over days (and probably weeks) so that some events can unfold in real time - ie. things do seem to happen once you go to sleep out here IRL. As you tick off the birds in your book and snag those fish badges, you'll delve into the backstory of the cast of characters living around the lake... (Spoiler - click to show) and, believe me, the plot thickens!
Jewel Pond remains a well-concealed gem in IF for the moment, but it's well-worth getting off the beaten track for an extended stay here.
This game has a few layers; on the surface it purports to be a fly-fishing simulator, but you can probably infer from the tone of the introduction that it actually focuses on life around the lake rather than the literal fishing itself. I hate fishing but love nature, so this suited me fine; on this layer it's actually a wonderful example of a very diffuse, unguided type of (back)storytelling, with things to learn and connections to make at your own pace, unprompted (largely unacknowledged, even) as you explore the area and learn about its contents. Unfortunately, at the risk of an incredibly mild conceptual spoiler: (Spoiler - click to show)if you keep digging, before long the game reveals itself to actually have a much darker story than the "laid-back" experience the introduction promises (and, maybe just as disappointing, a much more formally-traditional lock-and-key-puzzle driven adventure game beneath the veneer of open-ended meandering). So, minus one star for being disappointed that the premise was misleading, but still a high rating for the quality of the "fake" game that the less-interesting real game is hidden in.
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For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Writing of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Individual NPCs of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual NPC in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Innovation of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Innovation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...