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Coloratura

by Lynnea Glasser profile

Horror
2013

Web Site

(based on 88 ratings)
6 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:
(51)
4 star:
(28)
3 star:
(8)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 6
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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 6 Member Reviews

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Recommended Lists

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2013 XYZZY Awards Nominees by Molly
Here are the nominees for the 2013 XYZZY Awards, roughly by order of appearance on the finalist page. Note that this list does not cover the Best Technological Development Award.

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Philosophers may wonder if people are the only ones who are rational and self-aware, but IF authors are certain we aren't. Here are some games where consciousness takes unexpected forms.

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Coloratura:

IF with a sense of wonder by blue/green
What interactive fiction would you recommend that evokes a sense of wonder? These could be games that capture wonder or beauty in ordinary things, perhaps by viewing the world through the eyes of a child. Or they could be games that...

Good sci-fi games by IFDent
I'm looking for a good science fiction game (sci-fi game) for example, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Infocom. Can't get enough sci-fi text adventures.

Sublime Moments by Sam Kabo Ashwell
I've been thinking about games that provide really brilliant moments. This is not about the overall quality of the game: there are plenty of excellent games that never deliver a clear, standout moment of unalloyed excellence. And surely...

See all polls with votes for this game




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