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A literary autobiography in parser form, October 18, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

In this interactive fiction piece (which I played as part of a group and then again on my own), you play as the author, going through all the times in his life when he was (early spoiler) (Spoiler - click to show)stung by a bee. It also deals with his evolving relationship with his sister and others, and experiences in the 90s.

A lot of the nostalgia references hit home for me; I was about 4 years younger than the author, and remembered being fascinated with Dragonlance, and both entranced and off-put by the weird card-based Saga system (which got retconned pretty quickly!). I didn't play MM VI but I would have been playing Diablo or Chrono Trigger right around then.

The game bills itself as puzzleless, which is true, but it's puzzleless like Photopia, not puzzleless like Rameses. The difference is that in this game you have to actively investigate and think what would actually happen at that point. You can get through much of the game by hitting Z by you'll miss out on a lot.

I had mixed emotions while playing the game, and for me I'd describe it most as being about the literary quality of this game.

I devour fiction for its escapism. I like to see different views on what and how the world could be. I love it for its potential. Because of that, I love genre fiction. I prefer Poe over Hawthorne, Christie over de Maurier, Sanderson over Wallace.

This game has the same raw detail and undifferentiated take on life that great literary work has. This game shows the world as it is, through a certain perspective (that of the author). But the world it shows is an uncomfortable one, filled with many of the things I personally seek to escape through fiction. I prefer the ideal worlds that could be to the lonely and often dreary world we live in.

Quality-wise, there is a lot of polish. I think on the boat there were a few sentences with a double period at the end, but that's the extent of bugs I saw. There is occasional strong profanity and some sexual references from the perspective of a teen boy's thoughts.

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Mike Russo, October 18, 2021 - Reply
Thanks so much for the review, Brian! I think you capture a lot of what my intent was when writing the game, and you're probably a bit too kind on the polish issue. I'm especially glad that it looks like you saw at least some of the Dragonlance dialogue, since those were some of my favorite jokes in the game -- I hope they helped take the edge off of the less-escapist parts!
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