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About the Story
One game of chance to save my soul.
3rd Place, La Petite Mort - English - ECTOCOMP 2020
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Number of Reviews: 4
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It's good news when an EctoComp entry is replayable. It's also quite good when I have to replay it, and I know it'll be worth it. But for this game, I didn't want to replay it until I considered the possibilities. Perhaps I'm just the right audience for it.
But it's just a simple game of Battleship. A 3x1 ship on a 4x4 board. For you and death. All for the right to avoid damnation. I won my first time. Maybe I just want to keep my perfect record.
However, I'm currently entertaining the notion that the game doesn't pick things at random. That it only seems to. After all, it gives you four guesses to start, and there's no guarantee one of them hits. (In fact, there never is, with four guesses. You need five: C1, D2, A2, B3, C4, for instance.) And Death hit me the move after I hit him. Then, in a stroke of luck, I guessed wrong, but so did Death. This isn't totally improbable, but there's enough linked that the story could go like so:
Death taunts a mere mortal, asking them why they deserve to avoid eternal damnation. The mortal's actually been a pretty good person, but Death doesn't want to make it easy. Death mocks them: "don't ask wise questions about how I know what you're thinking and how you might cheat." But Death has already made up its mind, in the person's favor. It's just part of the ritual. (Note: you have opportunities to be a smartaleck. Maybe this fixes you for a bad end. That'd be cool.)
As someone who has spent far too much time poking at advanced battleship strategies, such as they are, I didn't expect an oversimplified game of battleship to be so thought-provoking, but I'm glad it was.
This is pretty good for a 4-hour-or-less game. You meet death in some sort of spiritual limbo, and you get the chance to redeem your soul through playing chess.
Instead of placing ships on a grid, your position is pre-selected and your guesses come from a menu. I won the first time I played, but I don't know if it was rigged to always win or if it was just random chance.
There are some interesting thoughts on the freedom of the soul, but I feel like the whole thing could use some more fresh takes. But that's hard to do in 4 hours, so I'm overall pretty happy with this game.
Parody of The Seventh Seal's chess-with-the-Grim-Reaper scene. It's a proper implementation of the game, in Ink (albeit only on a 4x4 grid), interspersed with a choice-based conversation. I managed to win first time, so I'm unsure how much branching or how many endings there are, but what I found was well-written and effective. Unfortunately Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey has already done this joke way back in 1991. Woah.
Really more funny than scary, this choice IF parodies the famous chess scene in The Seventh Seal. Death Plays Battleship is very short, so you can easily try all paths in a matter of minutes. As far as parodies go, this is a rather good one; Death is recognisable as based on the character in the classic film, though this one is more fun to hang out with.