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my heart, bared.

by Sophia de Augustine profile


(based on 4 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

A tiny tribute to the Nemesis Ambition in Fallen London.

Made for the One Choice Jam.

Game Details


Entrant - Single Choice Jam

13th Place (tie), Best in Show - The IF Short Games Showcase 2023


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Number of Reviews: 3
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Fallen London fan game with a single choice, December 5, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This game was written for the Single Choice jam. As such, it is designed more as a short story, adding interactivity only to punctuate important feelings.

As such, this game relies heavily on the writing quality and the styling of the game. And I felt that this game pulled off both of these very well; having played Fallen London (and finished the Nemesis ambition, although with a different choice than the author), it was clear that this was an author's depiction of her own character and the features/items they possess, but the descriptions were skillfully woven into the story rather than being dumped all at once.

The styling is nice as well, with gentle colors and subtle animations that I thought were just my eyes tricking me at first.

The overall story is a monologue of sorts from an interesting perspective. There are several stories, for decades, of (Spoiler - click to show)'they came back from the dead, but wrong', but this one gives the viewpoint from the other side. Maybe the reason someone else feels (Spoiler - click to show)you came back wrong is because they changed, not you. A lot of food for thought.

It's hard to know how much playing Fallen London affects the feel of playing the game; the ambitions are hard, and it's likely that < 2000 people have completed it. But I think this story has some elements that everyone can appreciate.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A Fallen London Tribute, August 26, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: singlechoice

This is a kinetic entry, with indulgent luscious and delicious prose - a Sophia staple - based on the lore of a specific Fallen London storyline. While it may be useful to know the particulars of the specific storyline, this is not required to enjoy the game as a whole.

As usual, do not be fooled by the bright and cheery UI, the game is not light-hearted one, far from it. The prose hints at something having happened to you, changing who you are and how you behave in this world, and how others behave towards you. Something quite dark, something that changes the course of a life.

But while the story is about you, somewhat (a recluse, probably depressed, or at least disoriented), it seems to be more about your husband. Your ever-loving husband that seemed to have been through hell and back to bring your back, the one who may have brushed his morals and do the unthinkable to have you in his arms again. There is a mix of relief, and guilt, and worry sprinkled through his words. He has you back, but at what cost!

I would honestly play a prequel to this game written by Sophia, whether or not it follows the OG Fallen London storyline or not.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Single Choice Jam: my heart, bared., August 19, 2023
by kaemi
Related reviews: Single Choice Jam

my heart, bared. by Sophia de Augustine

Tense, bejeweled prose muzzleloads the heartbeat: "Blooms too heavy to hold their own heads aloft nod gently, swaying on shorn stems, angled to sit just so. They sprawl languidly across every available surface, petals fluttering down to carpet with any movement in the house. Every sighing tumble sets your teeth on edge, eyes skittering to the doorway. He stands silent sentinel, one hand resting against the threshold, not yet bidden entry." So my eyes beamglew and I logged online. Some sentences threaten to flutter a little too gossamer, but they're anchored down with sudden raw bashes, as this pinkish wave of overexposure crashing over a craggy clause: "His hands are just as bitten into, bearing the marks of experiments gone wrong, faces broken against the crush of knucklebone, and gun powder burns from where he's held rifles with the same surety as a long cherished lover."

This batting eyelashes alternation between phantomy fleetness and fear spikes superimposes into a holographic cutesy queasy lacy danger: "The paintbrush's handle is burnished smooth from your cradling fingers, fitting into a phantom's touch. It's difficult, to focus on sketching, even with the luxury of the smooth, buttery glide of pencil over paper. His gaze holds a physical heft, like butterfly pins skewering you into place. He remains quiet, holding his tongue, hands folded politely in his lap. / He fiddles around with his cufflink, pearls cradled close by gold. Eventually, it grows intolerable." While sustaining this mode into a mounting anxiety, the story sparkles with purpose and poise.

The swerve, because surely we were all awaiting the swerve, that this is your husband, separated from you by a supernatural somewhat, life and death and laboratories and profaned rosaries and all that, springs the trap prematurely, trying to pump in a bunch more exposition whilst still pacing the bravado of a grand reveal. The result is confusing, hinting at twenty flavors of katabasis: wait, I'm dead, or he's dead, or we're both dead, or maybe I'm an iteration of a dead archetype that he keeps incarnating? I gather that the story is based on a Fallen London quest, so perhaps it is relying on a preexisting knowledge base, but then it would have the luxury of dispensing with all the exposition it profuses, so that doesn't quite cohere either. Our final choice isn't so much a choice as a tagline, so it doesn't supply us an answer.

Thus, my heart, bared. teases with wondrous aplumb, but when it invites us to dance, it trips, flails forward, seesaws over our legs, smashes through the glass table, fumblerolls into a waste of shattered teacups, then looks up bloodied and cravat crumpled, grins still seductively, as if maybe that was mysterious or dramatically masculine or threateningly romantic or?

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my heart, bared. on IFDB


The following polls include votes for my heart, bared.:

Outstanding Romance Game of 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 Romance game of 2023. Voting is open to all IFDB members. Suggested...

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