The Axolotl Project

by Samantha Vick

Science Fiction
2013

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Number of Reviews: 4
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Changed my mind about Twine, August 17, 2016

I haven't given Twine, or ChoiceScript or similar systems, much of a look. I've been vaguely aware of their existence and looked briefly at a couple of twine games, a little more closely at a couple of choice-of games, but for the most part they weren't my cup of tea.

They never seemed capable of the same level of interactivity and richness as parser-based IF, and seemed wholly unsuited to the types of IF I have previously enjoyed the most - story-based exploratory IF.

The Axolotl project has changed my mind on that. Whilst I still prefer parser-based IF, this game did a wonderful job of exactly that sort of game I thought it was ill-suited for, with an interesting mystery, exploration and an engaging story.

The writing was quite good, neither too wordy or purple nor sparse enough to be without character. The implementation was smooth and did a good job of replicating the feel of parser-based exploration with links to noun descriptions and exit directions. I only came across one implementation bug, and that was the the announcement that cleaning has finished and the apartments were open was replayed later in the game when returning to the area from inside the dorms.

The characters, though quite few in number, were well developed and three dimensional. Tropes were used here but to good effect, and the descriptions and internal monologues did a good job of characterising the protagonist. The world wasn't huge but it was logical and interesting, and the story was entertaining enough that when I sat down "to have a quick look", I ended up playing it all the way through to see how it would end.

Overall, it was a pleasant surprise, an excellent game, and highly recommended.