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About the Story
Stop me if you've heard this one before: You wake up alone in a room with no memories of how you got there and no way out. Oh, you have heard that one? Well, okay. Well, I guess you'll just have to trust me on this one. After all, what's the worse that could happen?
69th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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"Stop me if you've heard this one before," the game says. Well, I have heard this one before. The game replies, "Oh, you have heard that one? Well, okay. Well, I guess you'll just have to trust me on this one. After all, what's the worse that could happen?"
Well, the worst that can happen is that I can have a bit of fun doodling around with this cyclical game before finding the 'good ending'.
The game is very aware of its reliance on tropes. The 'you are in a room, escape and weird branchy stuff happen' is an old one, perhaps best expressed in J.J. Guest's enormous, decades-in-the-making Escape From the Crazy Place. This game is much smaller, possibly created in response to a school assignment (a credit thanks a professor).
None of it is bad, but it doesn't push the boundaries at all. All of the links work correctly, but the styling of the text is standard. There is some timed text, done better than most. The branching interactivity works well with the small, cyclical nature.
I'm a fan of soothing, small, cyclical surreal games (like Astrid Dalmady's early work). If you are too, I recommend this.
The Ouroboros Trap drops you, the faceless player character, into a ... well, i hesitate to call it a labyrinth, because there's a lot less branching than it seems. there are many instant, unfair deaths and a lot of guesswork, but Trap is written in Twine with an undo command so it's not as obnoxious as it could be.
what is, however, obnoxious, is the massive overuse of pauses, particularly given how many times you're expected to cycle through the pages with the longest pauses. there's only one spot in the game where the pauses couldn't be replaced with some equivalent of "click to continue."
overall, while the writing is fine and there are some good ideas here, way too much of the actual gameplay is just repetition and guesswork. despite Trap's trappings of puzzle IF, it really isn't, and i'm not sure what else it's trying to be.