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After the Accident

by Amanda Walker profile

2023

Web Site

(based on 19 ratings)
7 reviews

About the Story

Relationships can be disastrous.



A puzzle-free text game based on the poem seed After the Accident by Sophia de Augustine, written for SeedComp 2023 in Inform 7.

Cover and banner art made with Canva.

Content Warnings: trauma, blood, dysfunctional relationship


Game Details


Awards

2nd Place, Best Overall; 1st Place, Best Story; 1st Place, Best Prose/Writing; Entrant, All Games - SeedComp! - 2023

1st Place, Best Story-Focused Game; 3rd Place, Best in Show - The IF Short Games Showcase 2023

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Member Reviews

5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 7
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
♪ ♫ <i>Love me tender... love me true..</i> ♪ ♫, April 4, 2023
by Rovarsson (Belgium)

Hush... Be still... Be tender...

This is a story to be read with quiet care. Until vicarious anger kicks in. But also sympathetic understanding. And most of all deep empathy.

[since this is a heavily story-oriented game, spoilers will follow]

Ending a story about a love-relationship with a car-crash is about as subtle as an anvil-drop.
Beginning that story with the car-crash however, and then working backwards is a deeply captivating narrative technique.

After the Accident's detailed and thoroughly implemented opening scene serves as a gateway to an ever expanding exploration of memories. The more the main character observes what is left of the car, the deeper she delves into the debris of a broken relationship.

Memory by memory, scene by scene, the twisted dynamics between her and her lover become apparent. Apparent to the reader, that is.

The protagonist herself, she has flash-backs. Dropped in the middle of defining episodes of her life with her lover. While these episodes cause caution, perhaps alarm, in the reader, the protagonist is caught in an anger-but-love forgiveness cycle.

The author captures these ambiguous feelings in a series of small storylets. She uses everyday objects which convey a depth of information about the ambivalent nature of the protagonist's feelings. Particularly strong story-writing is the description of a present from the lover. It's an object imbued with contradicting symbolic meanings. (Spoiler - click to show)The sweater is soft and comforting in itself, she accepts it as a token of love, but the smell of the fight that came before still lingers.

I am very impressed at how deeply Amanda Walker can see both sides of these feelings from the protagonist's point of view, as well as translating them with deep-felt empathy to the reader.

This piece shows a deep feeling and understanding for the intricacies of love, even when that love is skewed.

The car-crash, symbolic and real, is a cathartic ending. I wouldn't have wished for the protagonist to endure more of the loving manipulating gifts.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
A shattered relationship left behind on the asphalt, March 16, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is a Seedcomp game, where people leave inspiration for others who go on to make games based on it.

This game is based on a poem by Sophia de Augustine.

Amanda Walker is one of the most successful authors of the last few years, having won Spring Thing, the XYZZY Awards, the IFDB Awards, and placing very highly in IFComp, Ectocomp, and Parsercomp. She works especially well with adapting poems into games.

This game is a shattered series of vignettes, mostly on rails but that's the way memory is some times. You are driving down a road--or, were driving down a road--with a boyfriend that you have been fighting with for months.

The game jumps around in time, moving simultaneously forwards and backwards. There are pedestrian segments of daily life made beautiful (or terrible) by the emotions present behind them.

I write this as I'm in a bad mood due to feeling a bit ill, but this game really made me think of the past. I had a divorce a few years ago, amicable in the end, but divorce can't happen with some scenes like that shown in the game. And the gory parts, the description of the blood, remind me of the early parts of our marriage, when I was at her c-section; birth is wonderful but it was terrible to see the doctor's hands bathed in her blood pulling out our kid. The memory stuck in my mind for a long time, together with the rest of the day of course. So this game made me think of that a lot.

I had some trouble here and there. I tried things like (Spoiler - click to show)bind wound, compress wound, tie sweater to wound,etc. before I realized I just needed to do what was in the hint. At the end, I somehow messed up the final action and got stuck. Before I tried to (Spoiler - click to show)answer phone, I tried stuff like (Spoiler - click to show)x phone, x message, x tree, run and then it just gave me a generic message whenever I tried (Spoiler - click to show)answer phone. So I restarted and speed ran to get to the end again.

Overall, I found this game polished (the hiccups were minor), had enough interactivity for me to enjoy, and obviously impacted me emotionally. It is lushly descriptive. I could see myself playing it again.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Worth It, April 4, 2023
by OverThinking
Related reviews: SeedComp, SeedComp 2023

(Full disclosure, I beta tested this)

This game is challenging. Not because it’s hard—in fact, what in other games might constitute puzzles are simple and well-clued enough that they really cease to be puzzles at all (but then, puzzles are far from the point of this experience)—but because of the core emotional truths it communicates.

The first half of this comes from the PC’s state after the accident itself, which is full of impressionistic fragments tumbling over each other unpunctuated, everything coming too fast and too bright in waves of sensory detail and memory that, at least at first, add up more to overwhelm than actionable information (this is praise). The second half is the meat of the story, as we see some of the scenes that led up to this moment, minutes or days or weeks before.

I won’t spoil what’s going on past that, other than to say that I found the main NPC detestable to the point where I sometimes had trouble sympathizing with the protagonist’s plight—I couldn’t really see much reason for them to have stayed for so long, having only the information presented in the game. This is at least partially due to my own experiences with people like that NPC (I would use his name, but we never learn it—which I think is a good choice), and my knee-jerk unwillingness to engage with them. However, I did love how tightly bound together their story was, with Chekhov’s guns being established backwards in time as the world of the present slowly expanded around us.

Overall, I think this game is worth your time, so long as you feel you can safely engage with the tough emotions and experiences at its core.

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See All 7 Member Reviews

After the Accident on IFDB

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After the Accident appears in the following Recommended Lists:

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Like the title indicates, below are games published in 2023 which I really enjoyed playing. There is no real order in this list. And I probably forgot some knowing me... (will update this at some point because I missed some big titles)

Polls

The following polls include votes for After the Accident:

Outstanding Inform 7 Game of 2023 by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2023 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best Inform 7 game of 2023. Voting is open to all IFDB members. Eligible...

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Looking for, as Nathalie Lawhead puts it, art caught between “everything is horrible”, “everything is survivable”, and “this is too hard to talk about”. I'm interested in how people explore the messy things in life through IF engines.

Microparsers by Tabitha / alyshkalia
The discussion in this thread, from which I've borrowed the term "microparser" (thanks Pinkunz!), led me to want to collect small parser games. I'm thinking of ones that fit what's described in the thread--generally taking less than 30...

See all polls with votes for this game




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