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Coloratura

by Lynnea Glasser profile

Horror
2013

Web Site

(based on 84 ratings)
5 member reviews

About the Story

Stolen away by apathetic Blind Ones, your only desire is to return to your Cellarium and the Song of the Universe. They should understand. You shall make them to understand.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: September 29, 2013
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Polite
IFID: 98B2F638-F1F7-4FD9-93BB-56BC86FB2C07
TUID: g0fl99ovcrq2sqzk

Awards

1st Place overall; 1st Place, Miss Congeniality Award - 19th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2013)

Winner, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Winner, Best Puzzles; Winner, Best Individual Puzzle; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Winner, Best Individual PC; Nominee, Best Implementation; Nominee, Best Supplemental Materials - 2013 XYZZY Awards

6th Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2015 edition)

36th Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition)

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(48)
4 star:
(27)
3 star:
(8)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
A mid-length sci-fi game from an alien perspective, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

Coloratura is one of the greatest sci-fi IF of all time. In this game, you play as a being utterly different from us that encounters a situation it has never experienced before.

The game has all of the usual commands, plus some new commands, the most interesting of which are color-based commands. Different colors signify different moods or ideas.

The puzzles are extremely rewarding, and fit into the plot exactly. The NPC's are well-implemented, and the nature of the game makes you feel as if the parser is not limiting conversation at all, only the world itself is.

I didn't really need a map for this game. It took a couple of hours to play. The game's biggest strength is its ability to put you in the shoes of someone completely different from you, to make you really feel like you are them.

I only wish the game had lasted a bit longer. But this may have made the puzzles less cohesive.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
An excellent science fiction game, September 22, 2020

Coloratura is an excellent science fiction game.

In a sense, the game gives you two stories in one. Foregrounded is the story of the alien PC, who drives most of the events in Coloratura. But the humans on board the ship experience the alien's actions very differently, and therein lies the second story. The way that Coloratura allows you to experience these two stories simultaneously is, well, brilliant.

I have mixed feelings about the puzzles in Coloratura, though. The puzzles are fairly easy, but that's not because the solutions to the problems you face are naturally apparent. In fact, these solutions are generally not actions that would easily come to mind at all. However, the puzzles are made easy by the game repeatedly hinting at what you should do next. I find that off-putting with puzzles, and it affected my enjoyment of the game.

To be fair, though, there's a quite difficult design problem to be solved here: A game with an alien PC is going to be played by humans who have no good intuitive sense of the actions that alien PC is easily capable of taking. To avoid a game with an "other" PC being unfairly difficult, then, such a game has to slowly teach the PC's abilities to the player. Coloratura does this some - but, in my opinion, not enough.

Still, this is a relatively minor point. Coloratura is a great game, and its greatness lies in the tension it creates between the story of the alien - who wants something basic, understandable, and just - and the story of the humans who experience the consequences of the alien's actions as horrific.


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Brilliant Ab-Horror Gem, February 25, 2015
by Matt W (San Diego, CA)

Beautiful little narrative with a completely unconventional perspective. Other than the standard direction commands, look, and examine, there are almost no other "typical" IF verbs used in this game at all. But instead of being arcane or confusing, the game skillfully eases the reader into the protagonist's abilities, desires, and perspective through subtle emphasis and gated puzzles that don't feel at all like puzzles. The narrative can be played through in a little over an hour, but it's a great hour - spare, but evocative prose, a well realized setting, and a PC that's among the best I've played in any setting.


See All 5 Member Reviews

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Recommended Lists

Coloratura appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Interactive Fiction Competition Winners by RichCheng
These are the games that won First Place honours in the IFComp each year.

The Best of the Best by bluevelvetwings
Whether because of amazing writing, immersive plot, unique atmosphere, or whatever else, these are the games I personally consider the best IF has to offer. ...

Good games by Simon Deimel
This is a list of games that affected me. Their contents had a certain impact on me and kept my mind busy even some time after I had finished playing.

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Coloratura:

PC's personality integrated with the story by JasonMel
I would like to be able to recommend to someone many examples of interactive fiction in which the player character is far from a cipher or an everyman or everywoman, but is instead a character with a definite personality within a game...

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible puzzles of 2013 by Sam Kabo Ashwell
This poll is a place to suggest individual puzzles from games released in 2013, which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual Puzzle in the XYZZY Awards. Leave a brief, unspoilery-as-possible title for the puzzle in the...

For Your Consideration: XYZZY-eligible PCs of 2013 by Sam Kabo Ashwell
This poll is a place to suggest player characters from games released in 2013, who you think might be worth considering for Best Individual PC in the XYZZY Awards. Leave the name (or namelessness) of the PC in the comment on your vote....

See all polls with votes for this game

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