Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the Story
You're twenty-one. It's dark in here.
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 3
Write a review
You are 'Casey', an anxious college student with lots to hide, and you're going to your boyfriend's house for Thanksgiving. Can you keep it together?
Thanksgiving is designed with an eye towards those who unfamiliar with IF, with a preliminary explanation on how to progress in the story and colour-coded links (red is for eavesdropping; green is to progress).
The story largely involves navigating your way through social interactions with relatives: do you act cheerful, or distant? Help out, or try and remain invisible? The player took on the PC's responsibility to keep the PC's story straight. NPCs will remember your story, not least your boyfriend. What exactly was 'true' is not always clear.
The story also benefits from the PC's 'eavesdropping', adding texture and details to the boyfriend's family. It was suited to the close proximity that comes with family gatherings on occasions such as this.
I thought the idea of concealing one's identity was well done. We only ever see the bits of her past that she's actively trying to hide from her boyfriend's family, while other incidental details - her real name, details about her family - are irrelevant and thus omitted. Yet, the PC's past emerges in so many ways: not just in her new name, but also in her uncanny ability to spot scammers, perhaps even in the game's key mechanic of choosing the approach to social interactions. I would not know how factually accurate any of this is, but Thanksgiving feels like a very nuanced account of the minefield that is social interaction.
This well-designed and elegant Twine piece jumps right to the action, putting you in an increasingly tense Thanksgiving dinner with your college boyfriend. You have a secret--many secrets--and the backlog of lies and dodges accumulates, building the pressure on what is already a tense interaction.
The UI really shines here, too, with color used to differentiate choices and branches in the story. This was smartly done. Some choices have a timer, which increases the challenge dramatically, and really increased the power of the story.
My favorite aspect here is the way that this plays with conflict. A basic maxim of writing is to imagine some characters, find what they're afraid of, and then pile on the fears and the challenges. That's done brilliantly here, and quickly, making this a tightly-written and plotted experience.
Thanksgiving was my first Hannah Powell-Smith game, but I'm going to play her other games now. Before I talk about the story, I have to mention my favorite part of this game: the use of color on links. I think everyone should copy this: cycling text is one color, expanding text is another, and branching text is a third. This makes it so much easier to know how to explore. I really support this.
As for the story, it was one I haven't seen done before. As you go to Thanksgiving with your boyfriend, you come under pressure due to your hidden past. It's hard to say more without spoilers, but this game made me nervous in a good way.
If you enjoyed Thanksgiving...
Related GamesPeople who like Thanksgiving also gave high ratings to these games:
|Transilience, by Glass Rat Media|
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
"Every time I open my eyes, I see that the world has changed. I'll wake up and it'll be like I'd only dozed off for a while. Like I'd slipped away into a dream during class and no one saw my chin slump down into my chest, or if I'd...
|Aisle, by Sam Barlow|
Average member rating: (283 ratings)
"Late Thursday night. You've had a hard day and the last thing you need is this: shopping. Luckily, the place is pretty empty and you're progressing rapidly. On to the next aisle... Aisle started out as a game which would not need the...
|Mariel, by Michael Baltes|
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
Nothing in this hospital is as usual. After a serious accident you have to figure out what happened and how to escape. Written to showcase the German library extension for Inform 7.
Recommended ListsThanksgiving appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Romances to make you swoon by Shadowcutie
Romance is the greatest genre out there, whether it is the main plot or simply runs along side an already great story. Note some of these stories are rated mature for sexual content! The days of chaste hand kisses and love letters are...
Games that I couldn't put down by MathBrush
These are games that for some reason or over I just couldn't stop playing and thinking about. There are no specific reasons given. These aren't necessarily my favorite games; one reason they are pageturner is that the pacing is good and...
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...
This is version 4 of this page, edited by Hannah Powell-Smith on 18 April 2016 at 11:31am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item