Coloratura

by Lynnea Glasser profile

Horror
2013

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Number of Reviews: 8
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Story > gameplay, July 11, 2024

The problem with hype is that it raises your expectations, and when the hyped thing fails to meet those expectations, it inhibits your enjoyment in a way you wouldn't have experienced if you'd gone in without those unfairly high hopes. I've experienced this with a lot of popular IF works, not just this one, so it's definitely more me than the game--and it was a very good game! The completely alien perspective, positioning humanity as foreign, is narrated in rich language that uses common English words in never-before-written ways and was compelling and lovely to read. The horror elements were well done, understated in their matter-of-factness, which made them all the more horrifying. Contrasted with this, the beauty of the Song, of the alien world, of the bond that forms between alien and human--it all makes for an excellent story.

But I think I might have enjoyed it more if it were a story alone, a work of static fiction rather than a game. The whole time I felt like I was being guided through an on-rails experience, always nudged in the correct next direction, not encouraged to experiment or take my time. While I appreciate the game's helpfulness in keeping players on the right track, allaying potential frustration, what I enjoy most about parser games tends to be the exploration and experimentation that the form typically encourages. Coloratura held my hand a bit too much for my liking; I would have preferred a little more freedom.

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