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About the Story
Zoe is a neuroscientist who's researching methods of resurrecting the dead… by rebuilding them from their memories. When her girlfriend Sara dies, Zoe uses her experimental technology to save her--but there isn't enough room to save all of Sara's memories. You must choose which ones will be saved, and which ones will be lost.
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Disclaimer: I'm friends with everyone credited on this game, and married to the sound designer, so I'm as far from unbiased as one can be. But this is common among intfic circles, so.
In What Isn't Saved, Zoe, a neuroscientist, tries to salvage the memories of her recently deceased partner, but there's only so many that can be saved.
It's a gut-wrenching task—memories explode into other memories, a book you can only quickly skim. It reminds me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, when Joel dashes through his disappearing memories. Structurally, it also reminds me of Sam Barlow's Aisle in that, instead of lightly exploring the story's boundaries, each choice cuts the narrative space with garden shears.
There's a sinister, desperate note to every choice in What Isn't Saved that mirrors the anxiety we often feel in romantic relationships, about the effect we have on those we're closest to. Of course, I wanted to rebuild Sara's memory of her and Zoe's first kiss. But what about her memories of Zoe's flaws?
Being in Zoe's shoes, I felt uneasy and invasive, and questioned my own motives when I made decisions about why certain memories were important or not. The story handles these choices with the weight they deserve—there's no hope in this task, just compounding doubt and worries.
There are many aesthetically beautiful games made with Twine, and What Isn't Saved is among them. The confusing way pronouns flicker inside the memories made me kick the dirt and cuss, because I wish I'd done similar for the shared consciousness scenes in Mama Possum.
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For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Writing of 2018 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Story of 2018 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Story in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest games...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Overall Games of 2018 - by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest games...