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About the Story
A maiden leads a unicorn hunt.
Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
HUNTING UNICORN is the recasting of classic unicorn legends, the story of a poor and unattractive woman whose chief income comes from serving as unicorn-bait, drawing the animals out so that they can be captured by hunters. It often feels as though there is nothing she can do to improve her situation, and the story is in part about whether that is really true. The unicorn itself is a fearsome animal, not at all sparkles and rainbows, which can only be controlled via its own consent.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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This game does many things well in my opinion. A strong voice comes through in the form of the classic fantasy narrator who explains just enough and takes the rest for granted. The ending is predictable yet satisfying, a testament to the author's efforts in foreshadowing the story's events. Variations in text effects, primarily in the form of colour changes, are employed to great effect, highlighting the shift in mood without being overly distracting.
Something the reader is sure to appreciate is the consistent and intuitive mechanics established right from the start, in which every link apart from the last is an aside (with the few exceptions to this rule clearly signalled), negating the possibility of the reader missing any opportunities unnecessarily. The asides themselves provide snippets into the thought processes of the protagonist, complementing the more objective descriptions while playing a central role in defining the protagonist. The result is the opportunity to explore the game at one's own pace, gathering clues on what type of person the protagonist might be and learning about her past without fear of missing out on any of the main events.
I greatly enjoyed playing this.
This game is set in an unspecified fantasy setting. You play as a poor young woman, who, unlike most poor young women in fantasy stories, is very ugly.
You have been coerced into things that you may not want to participate in, but your actions remain your choice. There are 8 or so endings depending on what course you decide to take.
The writing is well-done, with rich descriptions and a well-conceived plot. The game is polished and smooth, and includes some text effects and images.
Overall, recommended. This was I believe the author's first game, and they have gone on to win several competitions. This first effort was a sign of things to come.
I went through this once, after discovering it on the Twine Garden, and I got two endings. I think there was a major fork at a midpoint but I was satisfied enough by the endings I got that I had no interest in exploring what happened if we didn't capture the unicorn.
Story-wise, it's interactive fiction about being an ugly maiden in a unicorn-haunted forest, and all the hunters who come to buy your services. I expected something I'd actively dislike, because I'm opinionated about unicorns (I discovered this game a day after viewing a screening of The Last Unicorn with Peter S. Beagle....)
...but I didn't dislike it. It was competently written. It worked for me.
As for interactivity, it's Twine. It has many endings but I only personally identified a couple of forking points. It's the kind of story where you click throughout the page to get more information and then return to the main story.
It didn't take too long to play. Recommended for an entertaining fantasy half an hour.
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