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Number of Ratings: 3
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- E.K., June 30, 2021
- Malasana, June 29, 2021
1 people found the following review helpful:
A great short game that borrows from word-tile games, June 28, 2021
I can't remember how I stumbled upon this game. I believe that it was noticed by someone else in the IF community first, but I am not sure.
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The game borrows from anagram or word-tile games like Scrabble and Boggle. That genre is bigger now thanks to the rise of casual gaming, with lots of anagram games on the iOS and Google Play stores. "You Lose..." takes that trend and uses it to tell a story.
As far as I can tell the game was built from the ground up, not on any established interactive fiction engine.
However, the concept is very clever and it is one that should interest anyone following the choice vs. parser debate.
On one hand, the game has a very linear structure. Tiles are pre-determined. If you choose the obvious answers and do the same thing, you get the same tiles every playthrough, more or less.
On the other hand, you can make multiple words with those tiles. The aardvark character will react to what you enter, and you will get new tiles depending on how it responds. That gives the player a real sense of agency---sort of a stripped-down version of the typing input offered by parser games.
The game also sticks close to traditional IF in another way: it doesn't rely heavily on media, only just a little.
The angry aardvark character is very cute and likeable; the fact that this is all shown through minimal animation and garbled sound is the best way of expressing its impotent rage.
(Spoiler - click to show)(However, this changes during the end game, which is also satisfying.)
I didn't encounter any bugs, and it seems that the game was updated after its initial competition release to fix a few things.
I've given the game four stars due to the fact that I am not a very active reviewer and IFDB suggests grading on a curve, and due to the fact that the game diverges from traditional IF quite a bit.
The game is very high quality and deserves at least 4.5 stars; take five or ten minutes to play it.