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About the Story
Some year not too far, in a foggy morning just before sunrise, a normal girl takes a normal walk in a normal forest.
14th Place - 29th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2023)
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Pseudavid has been consistently putting out thought-provoking games that are near-historical or near-real with cool UI for a while, so I looked forward to this.
The engine for this game reminds me a lot of Gruescript, and has clickable buttons but otherwise operates similar to a parser, for a parser-choice hybrid.
The idea is that you are exploring the woods at a time you arenít really supposed to, taking pictures and looking for things to bring to school to show others.
The game has enough nature to feel like a nice walk through the forest, like the game The Fire Tower. But itís odd enough to feel unusual. Plastic is seen as something exotic and rare. An abandoned hut contains what seems to be evidence of tortureÖor dental care.
I liked the overall vibes, and thought the game looked great, especially the background changing over time.
The game implied I missed out on something at the end, or at least my character did. I didnít see any opportunities to do more than I did (I crossed the bridge and, looking at the walkthrough after, I had done everything in it).
Sometimes it was a bit of a chore to have 4 different things to click on every thing (the original click to look, then photograph, then smell/touch, then collect).
At times I struggled to use items. I canít tell if there were bugs or just my way of clicking was bad. At times I thought that clicking to use an item and then clicking on a scenery object would bring up an option on that scenery object to use the item. At other times I thought that clicking on the object itself would bring up the option to use it on the scenery item. I suspect the latter was the case most often.
Also, it seemed like the map kept getting bigger (which was awesome) but at some point the X got stuck in the upper right.
Overall, I enjoyed this a lot; the complaints above are minor things, while the core game itself was something good and interesting.
I liked this game a lot! Itís very aesthetically pleasing, with soft, shifting-color backgrounds, a map that expands as you go deeper, and lovely art. The engine worked well and made for a smooth choice-parser hybrid experience. After a bit of a slow start, I became invested in the PCís forest exploration, partially due to her strong voiceóher youthful enthusiasm and joy are captured so well. Discovering new things to photograph, interact with, and collect for my sample box was delightful, especially since trying each action on each item has its own unique flavor text. For instance, photos of certain things may come out blurry or not live up to what theyíre trying to capture, which was an excellent detail. All in all, this really captured the experience of going on a rambling forest hike.
A layer of intrigue was added once the worldbuilding started trickling in, creating a sense of potential danger in the forest and of precarity about life in general in this world. The small-scale stakes of potentially getting lost, getting in trouble for sneaking out, or even getting attacked by a creature played out against an off-screen backdrop of warring ideologies and a forever-damaged planet. The way that glimpses of this larger geopolitical situation were meted out throughout the story was very effective, providing one puzzle piece at a time that never formed the whole picture, but were enough to convey a strong impression.
I love exploration in games, and this was a thoroughly satisfying experience on that front, with a few small puzzles along the way and an enjoyable PC to spend the time with, along with a compelling world to do it in.
This game I really enjoyed. Long, interesting messages in a gruescript parser, it was interesting and peaceful. I liked the story and background, as well as the setting. It was very clever.
... And that's literally all I have to say.
Song: There, There. Plus some I Might Be Wrong.
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