by Dan Doyle III profile

Slice of life

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Number of Reviews: 7
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Neither dark nor humorous, November 26, 2010
by The Year Is Yesterday (California)

First off, I should note that it's clear that, implementation-wise, the author knows his stuff. The help file is extensive, the endings are profuse and various, and he's clearly taken time to allow for multiple ways of achieving - or avoiding - the goal. The quality of the writing is also, from a technical perspective, high: descriptions are concise and occasionally colorful, and there are few if any errors or typos, showing that a high level of care and polish went into this title.

Unfortunately, the issue that I (and many others, judging from the mixed reviews) encountered concerns the premise itself, or rather, the tone the work adopts toward its subject matter. "About the story" promises "elements of dark humor," but I found nothing in my various interactions particularly dark or humorous. This may just be a matter of taste, but let it be said that, although I have some personal experience with the subject matter, I'm no prude. I wouldn't have minded some hilarity, even if it were in ill taste. What I got, instead, was after-school-special material, shallow melodrama.

The author's notes in the help menu may shed some light on this. He says that it originally started as a joke, replacing "You have died" with "You have survived." But somewhere along the way, whether at the coaxing of testers who couldn't stomach the subject matter or of his own volition, he decided that "it wasn't a joking matter." So we've essentially got the setup for a joke, but halfway through it becomes a moralizing tale, and it fails to leave an impression on either count. The PC's motivations for committing suicide are so banal it's almost painful, and the writing encapsulates none of the real angst of depression.

I'll conclude by reiterating what I said at the beginning: as a game, this is nicely polished and shows great care. It's entirely possible to appreciate on those merits alone; it's also possible the ambivalent tone will strike a chord with you that it failed to with me. However, I can't help feeling that the author, for fear of offending people or trivializing a serious issue, held back at crucial moments, resulting in a story that doesn't live up to its implementation.