howling dogs

by Porpentine profile

Secret
2012

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Number of Reviews: 8
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Dense and somewhat haunting., August 19, 2016

It's difficult to know what to make of howling dogs. It is written well, the imagery it evokes is poetic, almost to the detriment of story, but it is certainly affecting.

I've played through it twice now, and gotten both endings, and to be honest I still can't tell you exactly what it is about, not fully. It is not a story, so much as it is a semi-interactive piece of art, and as that it succeeds very well... I suspect that I will still be thinking about this game long after, something that I can't say for a lot of games that I enjoyed a lot more than this one.

Many other reviews talk about how much this game has to say about women, and looking back that is definitely a theme running strong within the disjointed scenes. Equally fascinating though, as with much Art, is how much of what you see is what you brought with you. In my first play through, it never occurred to me the protagonist might be female. It also never occurred to me that the prophet was a "joan of arc" figure, as in my mind they were also male.

Reading it the second time, I projected a female PC, and a Joan of Arc figure, and it worked equally well - the writing is beautifully designed that way, to magnify your own prejudices and allow you to see your own reflection.

I play for enjoyment, and I didn't enjoy this a great deal, hence the 3 stars. It was confusing, it was confronting, and as Art it succeeded in unbalancing me. It was quite well done.