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Nominee, Best Story - 2001 XYZZY Awards
[...] quite possibly the only Christian IF game written which didn't suck. The author has put storytelling above evangelizing, which means that the religious layer is much deeper, since it forms the basis of the world view, rather than the basis of the plot. I prefer it this way. I think it captures what Emily Short referred to as "the terrible wings and eyes". It has the sense of deepness, of glory that was in some of Madeline L'Engle's later books, though not entirely without some of the flaws of her earlier works.
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The prose conveys some rather strong emotions via a story design that can be debated for days, which is exactly what happened on r*if. If emotional impact per line of non-library source code were a valid measure, this would probably rank as high as Photopia or Shade; perhaps even higher due to the sparse implementation. It takes courage to use the minicomp format (and SmoochieComp, no less!) to tackle much debated philosophy and religious theology.
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Sometimes I wish we could catogorize IF by games vs story. This is not a game- this is a somewhat interactive story, where you play the part of the voices that the main character hears, and you direct her. The writing here is nice, it comes across in the first person, as if you are speaking with the player rather than entering in the player's commands on a parser.
There are 2 different "parts" of the game- one where you direct the player around, and one where you have conversations with different celestial beings. Once in the game, you seem to just instruct the character to talk to pierre over and over. The interactivity there is low, though the choices you make (generally yes/no) in the celesital sphere affect the game.
This is one of those experiments where the question comes (at least to me): should this have been merely written instead of in the IF format? I have seen a few so far where they would have been better off doing the former, though this one is crafted well in the IF format, that despite the constant "text dumps", the changing scenes do better to IF than the traditional format.
It's a romance, it's not a game, it's a story. If this is the kind of thing you're into, come on in, its well done. If you prefer the puzzle based games or more interactivity to your conversation games, this may not be for you.
Related reviews: SmoochieComp, Xyzzy Awards 2001
There aren't any puzzles, and there's not really much chance to change anything that happens. You may choose whether to speak to Pierre in the first scene, although this doesn't affect the story. Between scenes, the game switches to a conversation between various parties (God, the devil, St. Michael, Pierre), and your choices affect the outcome or the game. The scenes themselves are totally scripted--you continue talking or waiting until the scene is over, and then move to the intermission and thence to the next scene, until the game ends.
This lack of choice in how the game plays out might have been annoying in some games, but in this game it is not just fitting but necessary; as I understood it, the point of the game was that the characters had no choice: their action or inaction was beyond their control. I think this worked quite well.
So: three scenes, three conversations, and then the ending. It's short enough that you can easily play it through several times to see all the endings, although they differ little.
The question, then: is it a good game? Perhaps. It's amusing, anyway, and short enough that it's no great loss if you don't like it. It's worth a try.
Voices is a strong, story-driven parser game told from the perspective of a mysterious invisible figure, whom we learn more about throughout the game. The narrator is the figure, while the PC is a young girl they speak to.
This is a strong story, and most of the game is designed to funnel you through the story. This would easily make a good Twine game; this is in fact the kind of game Twine was designed for. However, the author has done a great job of changing default messages and adding extra surprises, making it worthwhile to have it in a parser.
Much of the game progresses by repeatedly using "TALK TO", and by making a few decisions.
A great choice for fans of story telling. No puzzles to speak of. I had a lot of fun with this.
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