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About the Story
Friday February 2nd, 1923 My dearest friend, Such good fortune has befallen me, that I scarcely dare write you in case it is merely some joke played on me by fate. Lord knows that Fortuna has not been kind to me in this life. Yet fortune is fickle, and it seems the Lady has finally deigned to smile on me.
3rd Place, Le Grand Guignol - English - ECTOCOMP 2022
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Number of Reviews: 3
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The normal people who have reviewed this game, have already mentioned all the important points of the gameplay, so instead of a normal one, this will be more of a gushing "review" than anything else.
Now where do I even start?
Alright! I'm starting from the horror elements in the story. From the very start, from the very first moment, there was a feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty in the air for the reader and the protagonist. The letter was too vague, and we were going somewhere to help Edward with something we had no idea of. It was beautiful to see the quick escalation from uneasiness, to suspense and finishing with creepiness in Chapter 3.
What really enhanced the horror atmosphere, were without a shadow of a doubt, the visuals. The chosen color palette, the journal... The creepy and helpful journal... *shudder
Anyway,props to the creators!
As for Edward: He is truly deserving of his title "Thirst trap". I never thought, I'd fall so hard, so fast for him. Even tried different playthroughs, to try different routes, but NOPE! My finger kept clicking on the "Protagonist and Edward had a past" and "Be as soft as possible in every given chance" choices every single time. Help me, I can't escape this loop! DAMN YOU AUTHORS! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!
Don't get me started on the: MAZE! The amazingly addicting and annoying maze. Do you have any idea how many times I've died and retraced the steps?! And why?! Just so I can collect all of 'em deadly numbers. Wierd hobby, I know. It's the authors' fault though, not mine (I refuse to take the blame for it). But as a side note, I've also exited the maze safely many times, so don't worry about it being nearly impossible to complete.
If you read until the end of this gushing "review" (then kudos to you for your patience), don't forget to give the game a try.
I loved the part of this game that is currently complete. It's a well-style gothic horror game involving you and an old acquaintance, Edward Harcourt.
The idea is that you are one of the few people who are acquainted with Edward Harcourt, who has newly come into power and position. He has asked you to join him at his castle, where you have to deal with suspicious servants, dark dreams, and a town filled with unfriendly folk.
The demo has a lot of branches that seems to really affect the game, as I chose one of three backstories and ended up with some lengthy sequences regarding that backstory later.
So far, only the first two chapters are complete. It's still enjoyable, but I'm definitely interested in seeing the final product. One of my favorite Choicescript games was Heart of the House, which has similar vibes, but this one is taking some different directions that make it fresh.
An old acquaintance named Edward Harcourt writes an unexpected and peculiar letter to you stating that he inherited a title to his family’s estate, and requests that you visit right away. This is a mystery game takes place in Scotland in the early 1920s.
Character creation comes first in this game. Not only does the player get to customize their character’s name, gender, and appearance, but they also decide on the protagonist’s history with Edward Harcourt and their past relationship with him before he appears in the game. There are quite a few possibilities, as indicated with a (Spoiler - click to show) dream sequence soon after you arrive.
Reflecting on the nature of your relationship with Edward, you find yourself thinking back to when you first met him…
The only plot element that the game gives us is Edward Harcourt’s reason for seeking out the protagonist for help. We learn that his (Spoiler - click to show) mother has been suffering from a mysterious form of insanity, and that he has been trying to find a cure for it. He thinks that the solution may lie through occultism which he has been studying to understand his mother’s ravings, but his only real lead is a cryptic letter from his uncle about exploring a castle. He wants the protagonist to help investigate.
So far, you navigate this mystery by snooping around and interviewing people (if they are willing to talk to you). As you investigate there may be clues that light up in the text. If you click on them more information is added to your nifty journal that summarizes your findings. This feature cultivates a detective vibe while also being incredibly useful.
The spoiler in the title of my review is that this game (Spoiler - click to show) is a demo. I did not realize that until it ended. It was sort of like biting into a chocolate bunny during Easter only to find that it is hollow, not solid chocolate like you thought. But there is an upside to this. Demo or not, this really is an excellent game. I hope the authors continue to develop it. So far, the game starts with a prologue and ends about halfway through chapter two. You arrive at the castle late at night and go on an excursion to town the next day.
Even as (Spoiler - click to show) a demo there is plenty of replay value while exploring the town, particularly with what you wear and where you visit first. So far, the gameplay follows the narrative of the outsider protagonist eager to get to work and start digging through the ancient history of a town where people are, at best, wary of you. You may pick up some Anchorhead vibes here or there.
The man bangs his hands on the table. His eyes are full of fury. Cognitive dissonance can be a real (Spoiler - click to show) bitch.
Clothing is important because it affects how people respond to you poking around. Are you a rich snob? A vagrant? Those are snap judgements that everyone makes, but it is interesting to compare these reactions among separate playthroughs. You already are the odd one out by being an outsider. It does not take much to make it worse (although sometimes, that is how you get the best answers).
The other replay factor is where you visit. There is a pub, church, harbor, and stores. You can visit two before the game (Spoiler - click to show) calls it a day and ends. But visiting the store first provides a different experience than if you visit it second. Same goes for the other locations. You can learn a lot from mixing and matching where you go. (Spoiler - click to show) The demo is not meant to played once. If you are interested in the story, you can find much more of it through replay. I recommend saving the game before you go exploring.
The game already has nice visuals. There is a stylish menu section on the left side of the screen. Some of the headers are writing in cursive (thankfully, not the gameplay text), and decorative swirls are also added. The screen is black aside from journal entries which are stylized to give the appearance of flipping through a physical journal. It all worked together to create an effective ambience.
In conclusion, The Trials and Tribulations of Edward Harcourt is an intriguing story with a lot of work put into it. When I went to play it, I was not expecting to see, (Spoiler - click to show) "You have reached the end of this demo. We hope you’ve enjoyed it!" I wish there was more, and I hope there will be. But did I enjoy it? Yes, I absolutely did.
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Outstanding Debut of 2022 - Player's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best game of 2022 by a new author. Voting is open to all IFDB members....
Outstanding Game of the Year 2022 - Player's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best overall game of 2022. Voting is open to all IFDB members. Eligible...