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by PRINCESS INTERNET CAFť

Horror
2022

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Number of Reviews: 3
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A strong setup and a lot of bathos, November 21, 2022
by Draconis
Related reviews: Ectocomp 2022

This one appears to be the third in a series I havenít played, but hopefully it stands on its own. It takes the format of a text conversation, with messages from your contacts appearing one by one, and you choosing how to respond. The visual presentation is quite sleek, though I honestly wish it had been simpleróI spent a long time waiting for text to slowly fade in, even when itís a choice for me to click rather than a message from someone else, and the messages floating around in different directions and bumping into each other was mildly distracting. Sometimes I could scroll down too far and leave the whole conversation behind; other times the messages were cut off at the bottom and I couldnít scroll down any further. The background music was atmospheric, though I turned it off after a little bit.

(The flow of this review is different from the rest because I keep tabbing over to work on this while I wait for the messages to appear. It takes a while.)

Interface issues aside, this is a spooky little short story told through online chats. Your mother messages you to say that your friend has arrived, and is waiting in your room. Then your friend messages to say they got delayed on the train. So who, or what, is it that your mother just let into the house??

Sadly I found the climax less compelling than the premise. (Spoiler - click to show)Your friendís doppelganger starts messaging you in Zalgo text and sending you uncanny pictures from the internet. Iím not sure if the bathos was intended or not, but it ended up feeling like a bit of a letdown after the spooky premise. I somewhat wish the entity itself had been left in the background, rather than messaging you directly, because only hearing about it secondhand could keep it both scary and vague at the same time.

I enjoyed this one, but I wish the climax had kept up the spooky atmosphere from the beginning.