Last Valentine's Day

by Daniel Gao

Fantasy, romance, story-driven
2023

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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A linear time-loop game about processing loss, November 17, 2023
by alyshkalia
Related reviews: IFComp 2023

So, this game's blurb is rather misleading. The PCís partner never appears in the story; by the time weíve gone through picking up flowers, walking through the park, and reaching home, the partner has already left, and this doesnít change in the subsequent loops. This isnít a game about trying to prevent the inevitable, then; itís about trying to process it.

Unlike a typical time-loop story, details of the day are different every time, from the weather to whatís happening at the dog park, and these shifts help build momentum as the PC progresses linearly through each loop, always carrying out the same string of actions. Choices are present, but fairly few, and I donít think they really matter (although on second thought, I wonder if some of those toward the end actually doÖ). I didnít mind this, as it still felt like an experience I could only get through interactive fiction. The repetition with minor changes created an interesting atmosphereórather than fighting against the constraints of a static world, the PC has to journey through one that reflects their own shifting emotional state back at them.

The dialogue was written a bit awkwardly, and in the end, the handling of the themes was a little too on-the-nose for my taste. The PC and their partner were never particularly defined as characters, and I think if they had been the emotions would have hit harder. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the experience, always ending each loop curious to see what would be different next time, and anticipating when and how I would break free.

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