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About the Story
Deux pages avant la fin du monde
7th Place overall; 5th Place, Prix d'Excellence en Design Narratif; 1st Place, Prix d'Excellence Technique - French Comp 2023
Number of Reviews: 2
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This game reminded me of why I have liked the French Comp over the years: the innovation.
You have in this story a book that can flipped forwards and backwards. It has about 8 or 9 pages total (at first). At first, I thought there was a bug, as the book seemed intended to have jewels on the front but they were missing, but as you read, you discover that's not the case.
An ancient civilization conquered all galaxies but couldn't prevent the end of the universe as it was consumed by black holes. Instead, it found a way to encode its entire history and culture into three crystals (the ones missing from the cover of the book), each held by a different guardian.
The book's history fluctuates, kind of like (but very different from) SCP-140 from the SCP Wiki. Different chunks of texts will flicker, and clicking on them changes the story. Change it enough, and you get a visual logiv puzzle you can solve by clicking.
I had a lot of fun with this. There are definitely some areas weaker than others (like Rovarsson mentioned, the story is fairly basic; another thing is the puzzles themselves are simple), but the overall interactivity is nice and the story is engaging, so for me the game as a whole was more than the sum of its parts.
Oh but this is clever! Deux pages avant la fin du monde employs a very original mode of interaction with the text to progress through the story.
The story itself is simple, almost childish: A grand, universe-spanning civilisation has put a plan in place to survive even the death of the universe itself.
You (an unnamed academic on the supernatural) come across this story in a folder which has only two pages of writing in it, accompanied by a letter from a friend and colleague saying that they have found this in the old archives of the library.
Upon perusing the text, you find you can manipulate certain sentences of the text, thereby expanding (or contracting) it, revealing different meanings and more chapters. Those seem to contain riddles and problems which you must solve in order to bring the story in the text to a universe-saving conclusion.
All very mysterious. I found the way Deux pages… expects you to directly, almost physically alter the words and intervene in the text to get the manuscript to reveal its secrets very satisfying. The only thing I would like to see different is the font of the main text. Something that fits the “old ancient alien lore”-theme a bit better.
Very intruiging. Very much fun to solve.