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Entertaining, Surprising, February 18, 2014
CYOA is a difficult medium because it has to succeed as both a short story and as a game. And what one person enjoys in a short story another might dislike intensely (see "Lovecraft, H. P."). There's nothing here to distress anyone, but (slight) (Spoiler - click to show)there is an uncompromising statement about how the world works, and I found it thought-provoking.
As a short story, this is competently written in a serious, slightly overblown way that recalls the simplest high fantasy of my childhood. And it skips over the boring bits, as stories like that usually do, in favor of the parts where you get a cool item or get some bit of sage and cryptic advice or meet someone interesting.
Most clicks, even ones that appear decorative, move the story forward, but choices are not uninteresting, usually reward you with specific text, and are often reflected on your character sheet. There was an appropriate amount of interactivity for the story to have maximum impact and to allow for a replay or two without becoming tiresome.
I played through three times, twice as a wizard and once as a warrior, and I'm pretty satisfied that the endings are fair reflections of my choices. I also quite liked the second ending I ended up with; bittersweet but surprisingly okay.
To sum up, nicely entertaining and more challenging than it might seem from the first few clicks. Well worth the time to enjoy.