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About the Story
A blurb? They expect you to write? You're Lottie Plum so you're not going into writing. You sing. And dance and act up a storm while everyone else can only manage a puddle. You belong at Bridger. No matter what it takes.
2nd Place overall; 3rd Place, Miss Congeniality Awards - 15th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2009)
Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Puzzles; Winner, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Winner, Best Individual PC - 2009 XYZZY Awards
Jay Is Games
But is Broken Legs worth a look? If you find the bratty antics of a selfish teenage girl offensive, you may want to give it a miss. But for those of us who are fans of mean humour, or can just take it in the satirical spirit, you'll probably enjoy it for the exceptional writing. Players looking for high action and adventure will be disappointed, but Broken Legs is a clever story with a protagonist you just may love to hate.
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The Onion A.V. Club
Author Sarah Morayati channels a pageant princessí soul in her prose, bringing life to six girls who are auditioning to enter Bridger, a performance academy for precocious young starlets. The atmosphere of petulant backbiting among the passive-aggressive (and aggressive-aggressive) personalities is hilarious, but the story is held back by a clumsy conversation system and incredibly obtuse puzzles.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Broken legs is a gloriously written game, one that revels in the sheer vileness not only of its protagonist but of the world in which she dwells. This is a character who makes Varicella look like Francis of Assisi, and the basic idea of the game is much like Varicella: the loathsome PC must eliminate a series of equally loathsome rivals within a time limit. Rather than a struggle for political power between courtiers, however, this is something much more vicious: a group of teenage wannabe starlets competing for the last place at a prestigious stage school. Lottie, the protagonist, has screwed up her audition, so the only thing to do is to ensure that all her rivals do the same thing even more disastrously. And so the mayhem begins.
I donít think Iíve ever played a game with a more over-the-top hateable main character: it both adds to the game (as an interesting experience) and detracts from it (you really donít want Lottie to succeed, given that sheís the nastiest one of the lot). The gameís light touch and superb writing do much to make the nastiness fun, however. The author captures and parodies the ghastly valley speak, not to mention the two-faced bitchiness, of these would-be clean-cut starlets in such an exaggerated way that its basically humorous nature is never obscured. (Spoiler - click to show)The effect is enhanced still further by the glorious twist at the end, complete with the option to play through the game again with additional comments in the light of what we now know is really going on. It turns out that the wickedness of Lottie as revealed throughout the game is entirely fictional Ė but only because there is even greater duplicity at work. The world of this game is revealed to be even more fathomlessly nasty than we thought.
I found the game staggeringly difficult. Some of the methods needed to eliminate the rivals are decidedly hard to work out. That is, of course, as it should be, but some are harder than they need to be because of the fairly basic interaction system. Much of what you need to do involves getting other characters to do things for you, but the limitations of the ASK/TELL conversation system make it hard to do this. (Spoiler - click to show)I worked out, for example, that I needed to get Rosanna to lie to Kassie about the audition, but I couldnít find any way to even suggest it to her. It turned out that I needed only to give her the memo. But it wasnít obvious to me that it was merely a lack of the memo that was preventing her from telling the lie. One or two also seemed insufficiently clued to me. (Spoiler - click to show)When talking to Alexandra, the topic of her shoes and music never came up. In fact even after I knew, from reading the hints, that these were the key to defeating her, I never found a way to get her to talk about her music. And these items werenít visible in the room. So without the explicit clues, I would never even have thought of focusing on them. However, the in-game hint system is a lot of fun and gives helpful hints. It still wasnít enough for me, though, since I ended up using the walkthrough to see enough of the game to try to judge it fairly. And in this case, Iím glad I did, as I would never have solved most of these puzzles left to my own devices.
For me, the difficulty and rather random nature of many of the puzzles is a negative point against this game, although they may not be for others. Apart from that, though, the gameís gloriously nasty premise and excellent writing make it a very strong and enjoyable offering.
This game is known for 3 things:
1. Doing a good job of recreating the vibe of Varicella, where numerous NPCs are on strict timetables and can be manipulated.
2. Having a strong narrative voice of a competitive kid with a stage mom.
3. Being very, very (perhaps unfairly) hard.
I played through with the walkthrough and really enjoyed it. I don't know anyone who solved more than 1 or 2 of the puzzles on their own. In such games, I like to play through once with the walkthrough, and then play it again a month or two later so that it's still a challenge, but you know what you generally have to do.
This is a frankly fantastic game, and it should have more recognition.
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Recommended ListsBroken Legs appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Great games in a mostly realistic setting by MathBrush
These are games that for the most part don't contain magical elements or futuristic technology. This includes games where there might be magic or futuristic technology, but you don't know until the end. So several of these games do...
Society, Socialites and Social Climbing by E.K.
Games where the protagonist has to navigate aspirational society in some way, whether it is an attempt at climbing the social ladder or avoiding those who seek to do so. Status, gossip, backstabbing and money are the orders of the day...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Broken Legs:
Games with unique hint systems by delano
I'm looking for games that offer hints in any way, except for printing them in sequence on the screen. For example: characters that offer hints; objects that, when examined or used in a certain way, suggest actions to the player; etc.
Games with an abrupt and unexpected ending twist by dutchmule
I'm looking for games which, as in a lot of short stories, feature a sudden and unexpected revelation/twist at the very end of the game, that possibly changes your interpretation of what the game was really all about. (but please be...
Unreliable narrators by verityvirtue
I'm interested in games which hinge on the 'unreliable narrator', from amnesia to a plain distorted worldview. The more this distortion affects the storyline, the better.
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