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A poem encoded, July 3, 2024
by OverThinking
Related reviews: Love/Violence Jam

Cicatrix is not a game, but a poem written in Inform 7 code. Iím reminded of some of the work from Event One in The Second Quadrennial Ryan Veeder Exposition for Good Interactive Fiction, especially Caduceus. However, I think Cicatrix achieves its goal more deftly, especially with the more varied ways it utilizes the Inform 7 syntax to tell its story.

There is a bar to entry here, as you have to understand how standard Inform 7 syntax works to really pick up on all the clever tricks and subtleties Amanda has worked into the prose. Especially in the final section, where everything really comes together, the ďAt the time when things changeĒ rule may be difficult to parse if you arenít used to staring at long stacks of if/otherwise nested statements. Once you puzzle it out, though, it makes for a serious gut punch.

The story it tells, about the things we carry with us, is I think to some degree a universal experience. Amanda has captured it beautifully and hauntingly.

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