Cricket, Anyone?

by Chandler Groover profile and Failbetter Games

Episode 46 of Fallen London Exceptional Stories
Fantasy
2019

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Regarded by some as the best Exceptional Story. Play Cricket for the college., December 10, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

I've long heard rumours about the quality of this Exceptional Story, and that made me hesitant to play it, as I didn't want to be disappointed.

I shouldn't have worried. This exceptional story is of high enough quality that I thought at one point 'this is the first time I've seen a real story in a Fallen London game'.

Now, that's not quite true, as there are great stories throughout Fallen London and Sunless Skies. But the format usually favors a series of vague allusions that come together in the end to give you an overall impression, although very little is said in each bit.

Cricket, Anyone? is different. It's very large, for one thing. I swear I spent over 80 actions on it, and anxiously waited to refresh my actions throughout the day.

The structure is intriguing as well. Once you get through a couple brief opening storylets, you enter a long cricket match where you make strategic options and, in between inning, investigating the bizarre machinations of the different teams and the trainer.

The story unfolded beautifully; the structure and writing rival a lot of the great sci-fi, fantasy, or modern lit short stories I've read before. There are a series of reveals that individually feel small until you realize what it's building up to and you see that it should have been clear all along. This happens several ways, with the stakes being upped over and over until it's some of the weightiest lore material in the Fallen London canon.

I came in with everybody saying this is the best Exceptional Story ever and was both skeptical and nervous about being disappointed, and I can only say that they were right.