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About the Story
Sever and preserve the tongues of the dying to steal their stories! Whether you gather their tales and memories for the greater good, or use what you learn to become one of the elite who decide what to call "History" is up to you.
This game has an awesome concept. You are a Death Collector. You have an invisibility cloak, pretend to be death to get people's tongues wagging before they die, then harvest the tongues which now contain that person's memories.
There's all sorts of creative worldbuilding, with different houses, abundant hidden secrets, etc. This is a long game with tons of tiny effects on the text due to your stats.
Unfortunately, there were several aspects of the game that I did not enjoy.
First, I was very confused by the stats. It's typical in choicescript games to have fluctuating personality traits represented by 'opposed stats' that add up to 50%, allowing the player to change over time. You also have skills that (generally) only go up, representing your wisdom over time.
In this game, your 'skills' are all things that seem more like personality traits: 'procedural', 'intuitive', 'cunning', and 'charming'.
This wouldn't be that bad, but they overlap in myriad ways with the opposed stats. For instance, if you decide to break rules to sneak into a room, are you being 'cunning', or not 'idealistic', or 'shameless', or 'maverick'?
If you talk kindly to someone who's dying, is that 'charming', 'honorable', 'empathetic', or 'idealistic'?
This makes it almost impossible to guess which choices affect which stat; similarly, it's hard to tell if you're adjusting a stat or testing a stat.
It's like playing a racing game that never explains which keys do what and sometimes randomizes them; it increases difficulty, but not in a rewarding way (for me).
The tone is very negative as well. It's basically choosing 'what kind of loser are you'. For instance, here are the options for one choice:
-I'm horrified this place is riddled with incompetence. Something must be done.
-I don't want to jump to conclusions. It might backfire.
-Pretend I disagree, so I can use the knowledge later for my own ends.
-I have no sympathy for whiners who blame their problems on others.
So you can do snooty, cowardly, sneaky, or haughty. I know some people enjoy playing as 'the bad boy/girl', and I've enjoyed doing that in other games, but it's not as fun when it's forced on you.
Finally, the narrative just kind of drops out at the end. At what feels like a couple of scenes before the climax, the game just stops with one page. It would be like if, in Empire Strikes Back, right after the scene where they meet Darth Vader in the 'dining room', they got on the Millenial Falcon and fly away, with the credits scrolling.
Despite my many troubles, the basic idea behind this game was great, and I encountered very few bugs/typos. The writing was interesting (it was several strong profanities, as a caution), and I thought the scenarios were individually compelling.
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