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by Andi C. Buchanan


Web Site

(based on 3 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

In Sidetrack you're a teenager who stumbles on an urban railway network that shouldn't be there. Explore at your own pace, changing lines, choosing which stations to stop at, and gathering items which can affect your journey at other points. No winning or losing - when you are done, find your way back to the place you boarded.

Includes stations contributed by Octavia Cade, Cassie Hart, and KM Jackways.

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Number of Reviews: 1
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A charming and low-stakes journey through a dream land, April 16, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game has you enter a place you shouldn't, a portal, an actual liminal space between the real world and the world of dreams.

The main gameplay loop is looking at a subway map, picking a station to go to, and exploring, with items you pick up at one station coming in use at another.

Each station is a pure fantasy, mostly disconnected from the others. It's reminiscent of Miyazaki films like Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro (with their subway/catbus). The locations aren't intentionally scary, although some are pretty trippy.

I forgot which station I entered in and it was literally the last one I went back to. I ended up seeing everything, and it was a lot of fun!

To describe the vibes, one early station has a market run by people made of wood; another is a station almost identical to our world, but subtly not.

There were some spelling errors, mostly in the first few pages (like 'rennovating'). There was a pretty bad bug where trying to click on 'alight upon water' to transfer from the brown line to purple line going north gave a twine code error. You can get around it by going south instead and turning around. I think that one other station was like that as well.

Overall, a pleasant game with a few bugs.

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Sidetrack on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Sidetrack appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Surreal games on trains by MathBrush
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The following polls include votes for Sidetrack:

Games about travel by penguincascadia
This list is for games either about travel or with travel as a major part of the plot or background. Stuff like being able to choose where you go from a relatively wide range of destinations, road trips, exploring a city or region as a...

Outstanding Debut 2023 by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2023 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best game of 2023 by a new author. Voting is open to all IFDB members....

This is version 5 of this page, edited by JTN on 9 December 2023 at 8:28pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page