The Bones of Rosalinda

by Agnieszka Trzaska profile


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Number of Reviews: 7
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A clever and charming puzzler in Twine, April 14, 2022
by bkirwi
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2022

Narratively, this is a lighthearted and comic fantasy story; mechanically, it's an interesting mix choice-based game with RPG-style elements and a world that wouldn't feel out of place in old-school Infocom.

The main characters are quite likeable, and the imagery is often strong. (Having one character riding around in another's empty eye socket is an unusual and visceral mental picture.) It's written in the third-person past tense, which I found a little hard to get used to, though in the end I do think it works for a game with this sort of storybook feel to it.

The world model is unusually well developed for a Twine game, as richly modeled as many parser fictions. The puzzles are also pretty old school - finding, using, and combining objects, exploring underground passages - and well put together. The implementation is (characteristically for the author) very solid and thorough.

One of the more unusual features of the game allows switching between multiple characters or detaching body parts and letting them move around independently. This is narratively interesting - you get multiple perspectives on parts of your environment, for example - and it sets up some unusual puzzles.

The interface is also well implemented, but sometimes a bit tedious. For example, what might in a parser game be `put arm on table` would involve several clicks: list parts, detach arm, pick up arm, open inventory, select arm, use arm, select table. Streamlining these sorts of manipulations might have kept the momentum up at that critical moment when the player's figured out a puzzle and is putting the solution into action. The game also preserves some rather unloved aspects of classic parser games, like an inventory limit and a maze, though I found to be only minor trouble.

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