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About the Story
"Your name is Tara Sue. You are 25 and you work in an office. Admittedly, your life could stand to get a little more interesting."
MNiTS is a completely free browser-based game by Maki Yamazaki about love, life, death and… Working in an office?
With ten different endings and a vast array of choices to make, what path will you chose?
Video review by Hydria
"Hydria dives into the fantastic text game "My Name is Tara Sue" by Maki Yamazaki. Also see the only time I have been struck dumb by emotion when doing a game review, this game is that good."
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My Name Is Tara Sue is a piece of interactive fiction that is great in its simplicity. Blending the mundane aspects of office work with something stranger afoot, it’s got a great hook that will have you playing it a few times, just to see if you can figure some more out.
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 5
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This is an interesting game with clever narrative clues--expect to play it more than once to find the good ending.
I do think this game could benefit from an undo system. Ultimately, some of the options and choices feel arbitrary, and it'd be nice to be able to rewind if you choose one not realizing the real implications of it.
The writing is good, and the attention to design is appreciated: many web-text games feel a bit overwhelming, but the author has condensed and laid-out the type in a way that invites reading and experimenting.
The theme here is simple, and immediately relatable to most people interested in computer games--you play as a woman torn between the tedium of her white collar job and a sense of adventure.
I enjoyed this game--where the play mechanic felt weaker, the writing certainly kept me going.
You are Tara Sue and, simply put, you lead a pretty boring life. However, things are about to get more interesting...
MNiTS follows a kind of time cave structure, which allows it to be highly branching despite it being so short; of course, the length of the story and early branching allows for easy replay. The scenarios are slightly outlandish, especially towards the end - a whim of the author's? - but veer towards the grim.
The joy in such 'boring work life' games is discovering the secret whims and fancies of the PC which lie behind their urbane exterior, but MNiTS didn't establish much specifics.
Worth mentioning is the rather attractive layout and scrollback formatting, which made the final story readable as a conventional short story.
Ultimately, MNiTS made use of a mundane concept which, ironically, could stand to be more interesting.
This is one of the most visually appealing stories made in Twine. If you have difficulty reading due to certain fonts or text layouts, as I do, this format works so well. Color choices, placement of text, and length of passages were great.
As to the story itself I found myself getting really invested in "Your" well being. The depiction of mundane existence is aided by text appearance and passage structure, so that you feel the way mundane choices weigh in your mind. Another example is the path of angering your boss. You see the anger build and I found deep satisfaction in the choice to literally just walk away and leave him standing there like an idiot. Most stories would have "You" cowering, but it felt so empowering to just have that option. What is in the story is great and makes for a fascinating read.
However other reviewers are kind of right. Despite the pros of the writing and the nice way passages are written there are issues. What most stands out is some choices in the text are kind of arbitrary, which on one hand serves to reinforce the importance of every day decisions. However, a fair number of those choices seem so minute, but have a massive impact on the story directions. At the same time some major decisions simply don't matter. What compounds this is while the game says there are ten endings after six play through most of them only differ by where you die and I got many of the same endings twice, and I wasn't quite sure what to do different, by the sixth play through it seemed like all the endings were leading to basically the same sort of ending, so I kind of lost interest. That being said the endings I did see were well-written, and I particularly liked the more abrupt "teddy" ending, but even that was brought about by arbitrary choices.
That aside it was still satisfying, and held my interest for a while. I will probably try again to get the endings later.
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