The Golden

by Kerry Taylor

Slice of life
2020

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Number of Ratings: 7
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1-7 of 7


Some folks love this short pre-apocalypse CYOA, but it's too elusive for me., November 14, 2021
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: spring thing 2020, Twine, choice-based

(This is an edited version of a review I originally wrote for my blog during Spring Thing 2020.)

The Golden is an elusive, faintly ominous Twine CYOA about a sister, brother and father stuck together in a seaside house in an unspecified end-of-days situation.

There are some tense character bits involving familial strain – a tortured card game especially on the first run – but the characters aren't specific enough for these to have full effect. For instance, if the blurb hadn't told me the heroine was seventeen, I wouldn't have suspected it from the writing. She seemed much younger to me, partly because of a sense that she looked up to her brother and partly because she didn't express anything too complex. She just didn't express enough. I don't really know what the problem was with the brother. Only the father had enough tics to make him stand out to me. Geography is a little fuzzy, too, a not uncommon situation in a Twine in which you can move around a little.

I don't know if there's a standard model in Twine that involves making the last word in a passage the link to the next page, a typical strategy in this IF, but if there is, I'd say – beware it. Words should generally be lit with intention. When 'God' on the end of 'Thank God' is the only link on a page, that looks highly significant, but proved to be no different than other standard forward links when clicked.

I liked the end of the story because of the aforementioned ominousness. I also felt that the game worked to build an anticipatory mood for it. Characterisation was the thin area. A piece this compact, written from one character's point of view and clearly indicating its characters are specific, needs to specify those characters more. There's not a lot of time to do it in, but maybe that means what time there is can't be handled as gently as I felt it was here.


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An apocalyptic sunset over the world, October 21, 2020

A classic short Twine story, The Golden depicts a moody, near-future setting at sunset in a beachside house, with hints toward a more symbolic, apocalyptic sunset over the world at large.

While the location and choice design, as well as the Twine stylings, are relatively bare-bones, the story builds slowly but stealthily as details are revealed piecemeal about the unsettling backdrop to a seemingly normal family life in a house by the sea.

The story’s coup de grâce occurs when the family plays a matching card game to pass the time. There is an almost grotesque variation of figures on the cards that seems to grow as the game progresses. The characters’ startling realization at one point that the cards have stopped matching creates a brilliant metaphor for the loss of control; the reader senses that pretense has finally fallen by the wayside, and maurauding pirate ships might be coming at last to claim their bounty.


- wisprabbit (Sheffield, UK), June 3, 2020

- Dawn S, May 12, 2020

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A very subtle game, April 10, 2020

More than a slice of life, The Golden is a simple Twine game which manage to bring you in his world and to convey true feelings only by telling small events ; this quite behaviorist way to proceed (like a Kiyoshi Kurosawa film) works better than any Hollywoodian story, despite of its brevity. To sum up, this is a kind of haïku in Twine.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A very short Twine story with allusive worldbuilding and implied relationships, April 7, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This short Twine game about some disaster making people not want to go out (at first seeming like Covid, later not so much).

It satisfies my 5 requirements for stars:

-Polished. This has great understated use of color and is organized neatly, with an interesting mechanic at the end.

-Descriptive: The house, people, and items and even mood were palpable to me as I read.

-Emotional impact: I could really feel the emotions the game was pushing out, maybe just because of my quarantine experiences.

-Interactivity: The card game was a nice change, and I felt like my choices in general had some kind of impact, if nothing else than in my roleplaying.

-Would I play it again? I already did. I like the feel of it. Might play it again.


- Sobol (Russia), April 3, 2020


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