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Originally submitted to IFComp 2014; released commercially in a much-expanded edition in 2015
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by Harry Giles

Slice of life , Fantasy

Web Site

(based on 18 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

A Scots fantasia about anxiety

Featuring kelpies, lost keys, mysteriously-lit underground caverns, boring work, panic attacks and red hair.

Raik is written in Scots, one of the languages of Scotland, with a full integrated translation into English. An earlier version was entered into the 2014 Interactive Fiction competition: this is a full expanded edition, twice the size, with additional features and more bad jokes about celtic fantasy and Scottish independence.

Average playtime: 25 minutes for a full playthrough, 90 minutes to read everything on multiple playthroughs.

Direct any thoughts, questions or bugs to aitch@harrygiles.org.


Cover art by Kitt Byrne.

Game Details


15th Place - 20th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2014)


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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
It's braw tae be bonnie an' weel-likit, July 30, 2017
by juliaofbath (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Related reviews: braw, scots

My first encounter with 'Raik' was during its exhibition at the National Library of Scotland a few years back, where it was made openly available to the public in a historic setting in Edinburgh. Although I hesitate to display bias, in this rich and culturally relevant atmosphere 'Raik' was a solid five out of five for me. However, as I spend some time with it alone in my flat (which is normally how I encounter IF), my critical opinion wanes slightly, but my love of the story does not.

'Raik' switches as deftly between Scots and English as it does between its two contrasting/complementary plotlines, both of which are freely navigable by the reader. When reading the segments of the text in Scots, the main character navigates the challenges of modern living and a debilitating anxiety disorder, and when the text switches to English the narrative adopts a distinctly fantastical tone that would be at home among the work of Robert Jordan or Patrick Rothfuss. This constant movement between worlds and languages is pleasant, and creates a sort of meaningful dissonance. My advice to any readers unfamiliar with Scots would be to actually sound out each word aloud as you read. Scots is a phonetic dialect that can be bewildering on a page or a screen, so vocalising the text helps.

My only real criticism of ‘Raik’ is that it isn’t as interactive as it could be, and it never really feels as though the reader is surrounded by infinite textual possibilities. Harry Giles uses twine and hypertext with some skill, but does nothing to push the genre and assert the interactivity of the plot. The story is very short, which is a downside for me as well.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A game written half in Scots, dealing with panic attacks, June 2, 2016

This game is unusual in that is written in the Scots dialect, which is quite different from American English, my native language. However, the author has provided in game translations, and it's not too hard to see the meaning in Scots even without translation.

The game has two parts, a Scots part about a modern day person who is trying to resist a panic attafck, and a standard English part about a person on a Celtic quest for a magic staff.

The game was not too long, but the combination lock required some research and there are opportunities for losing in the middle. There is also a maze.

Overall, I liked this game, but the Celtic part seemed just added in; I wished it was integrated more fully. I did not play the commercial version, which may have resolved this issue, being twice as long.

Note: this review is based on older version of the game.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting but possibly a bit buggy?, June 23, 2022

Interesting premise, but I found the Scottish dialect difficult to understand in places and for some reason I had to keep asking the game to switch back to the Anglified translation text between many screens. Sometimes this wouldn't seem to work (I'm not sure if this was intentional or not) and continue to show me the untranslated text, so I'd have to guess at what the half understood text wanted me to do.

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Raik on IFDB


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For Your Consideration: Games from 2014 that should be nominated for the XYZZY Awards by Molly
There were a lot of great games released in the past year, and now that the XYZZYs are coming up, it seems like a very good idea to take a poll of all the games from last year people would like to see nominated. The management has asked...

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