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About the Story
You're a vampire hunter on your night off.
Winner, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best Individual Puzzle - 2016 XYZZY Awards
The Breakfast Review
Here, each key element of the vampire's seduction is observed and picked apart. It's almost a textbook explanation of what a pick-up artist might do and why he does it, broadcast to the world as a warning to prey everywhere. Or maybe a lesson for the next time you want to pick someone up at a McDonalds, in which case you better hope she hasn't played the same game. Or that she doesn't have a stake hidden up her sleeve. But seriously, thanks for the PSA. I feel now like this game is one of those fluff pieces with a gem of wisdom hidden in it.
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
This is a light-hearted puzzle game with multiple possible solutions (as you might have guessed from the title, there are 16 ways to win). Although itís written in Twine, it has an inventory system and item/environmental puzzles more typical of a parser-based game, proving that this kind of puzzling can work extremely well in Twine.
The gameís greatest asset is its writing. Itís genuinely funny: itís light-hearted, sometimes wry, and full of witty asides from the protagonist. Said protagonist is supremely likeable, and far more well-rounded than I would have expected in such a light-hearted game. Itís a real achievement to convey so much personality in so short a piece.
Perhaps the best way to describe the game is ďconcise but generousĒ, which goes for the design as well: thereís a small number of locations, but a large number of possibilities, which keeps you on track when looking for new ways to win. A certain amount of trial and error is needed to achieve some of the endings, but generally the game is well clued, especially because all of the possible endings are listed in an achievements-style menu seen at the end of each playthrough (which tells you what the ending is, leaving you to work out how to make it happen).
Each playthrough is relatively short (about 5 - 15 minutes), but I certainly played it far more than 16 times to achieve all of the endings. Youíre allowed to skip some of the lengthier or more repetitive segments after youíve completed them once already (a very welcome feature!) but thereís still a fair amount of repetition when replaying, and the lack of a save or undo feature means a small mistake can see you having to abandon a whole playthrough and start again.
An odd quirk of the gameís choice system is that options that you canít take yet (because you donít have the requisite items) are greyed out, rather than hidden completely. This means that the game gives away half its solutions almost immediately. This surprised me at first, but as soon as it clicked that the challenge is not just to win the game once, but to win it in as many ways as possible, the visible choices no longer seemed like spoilers. However, there is still a slight problem with this system: it encourages winning by accident, which can feel hollow. Thereís one ending in particular that is very easy to achieve without meaning to: (Spoiler - click to show)on my first playthrough, I won the game by accident by plugging in the UV air sanitiser on a whim, not having any idea that it would kill the vampire.
Thatís a relatively small complaint in what is otherwise a great game. Itís not without flaws, but the game is witty, well written, and most importantly, a lot of fun.
So it seems Buffy can't take a short break from vampire-slaying even when ordering some burger. Her trained senses and keen reflexes know all too well when there's danger around. And thus, in the limited confines of a famous fast-food chain we have to deal with these bloodsuckers as best as we can without our usual tools of trade.
This was fine enough and gives you enough ways to get things right and wrong too. Fun game, finely crafted and polished.
Some have argued about that vampires are too cunning to 1) trying to hit on a McDonald's employee and 2) getting slayed so quickly by an underpowered slayer, but frankly 1) he may just be too thirsty (and plus they were alone at night until player enters) and 2) he may not be quite such old and cunning vampire. Buffy was able to slay plenty of them with the brains of a 90's cheerleader...
anyway, good game, specially great since it's a cyoa demanding more player agency than usual...
The first Twine game I played was a fantastic introduction to the system. About twenty years ago I played Will the Real Marjorie Hopkirk Please Stand Up?, a game about trying to find 100 ways to kill 100 clones. I was enthralled by the premise and disappointed it was a demo with only five solutions. So I was thrilled to finally get to play something similar that was less intimidating and more lighthearted.
I really appreciated that no significant knowledge of vampire literature is necessary as Corfman provides ample hints along the way if you're stuck. Some puzzles can be solved in multiple ways. And there's also plenty to look at and tinker with that explores the character outside of just her night shift job.
The structure isn't perfect; some playthroughs get repetitive (which was one of my criticisms of Galatea) and some paths of victory can be found by luck, though the game's brevity (and levity!) help alleviate these concerns. None of the puzzles are particularly difficult, but some are clever, and it never felt like I was mindlessly clicking on hypertext.
What shot my rating up to five stars was the game's three epilogues that provide the player with silly information about vampire stories, 16 more ways to kill a vampire (no puzzling required), and a Rashomon style section to view all your playthroughs via the eyes of one of the McDonald's employees. Corfman's writing is so delightful that I eagerly read everything and have now played this twice since its release.
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This is version 7 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 8 December 2016 at 7:33pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item