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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Full disclosure, not a fun one., December 29, 2015
by darlarosa
Related reviews: politics, satire, parody

I consider myself a progressive liberal( full disclosure).

Full disclosure, that has nothing to do with why this...."game" stinks. Foremost it is a game in the barest since with the barest interactivity or points of strong interest to engage you. Twine is without question a means for individuals to share perspectives, experiences, and opinions. After all what is any piece of writing except that? Even the description of objects can be opinion based (I cannot often separate the feeling of cold and wet, so my description of a can of cold soda may differ from yours for instance.)

However, this is a pure and simple very confused propaganda piece by an author whose intentions seem both unclear and sincere. At best this "game", and I use the phrase lightly, is a rant by the writer, a result of constantly being bombarded by "Trump-mania" on both sides of the American political spectrum. Certain answers to questions are actually quite clever, while others are lazy and simplify certain bigotries and beliefs, as clear cut and always in your face. Of course, parody/satire often tries to simplify things to an absurd degree, but it isn't as successful here as it could be.

One of the clever segments was a question that asked "When did America stop being great?" and one of it's answers was "When I grew up and gained adult responsibilities". That's clever because it is often true. We, as humans, generally look back at the past as being simpler more peaceful times, even though truth is we were often too young to really grasp the world around us. Even for a black woman, such as myself, certain periods seem in some ways simpler than today despite trials I would face in the 1970s or 1920s. Incorporating that sort of awareness shows signs of the author's potential. Yet those glimpses are mired in cheap shots and that nagging sense of being ranted at even if you agree with the author's perspective in certain places.

And here's the thing. I hate being so mean, and part of it is I just finished playing, but I have such a strong reaction because it is obvious this person knows code and has ideas. I don't care whether you're republican, democrat, or part of the Intergalactic Peace Party for Purple Citizens Rights from the 4th Dimension (IPPPRD if you will), but when you do something like this you have to put effort in to really make it concise and effectual. It's not writing a story, but writing the hardest of genres humor, parody, and satire. This seems kind of thrown together in terms of writing, which doesn't serve it's genre. This "game" is all over the map in terms of tone. And the author seems aware that this "game" stinks. Trying to be "meta" about it doesn't change the fact that you are basically telling your audience the game isn't as good as you could make it, or are just offering them a lemon. That is something that makes going through the whole thing hard because the player feels like you are wantonly admitting to wasting their time, and that is not ok for a game this long. That's what galls me and I'm trying to think of nice things to say, but the entire game as a whole elicited primarily, "Really? This is what you want to do. Ok? I guess."

It's not the worst thing in the world! Do not think I'm saying that. It just wasn't effective. In fact it is far from it. It is relatively visually arresting well put together in terms of code and text, though it could be prettier, but it's prettier than most. Certainly more arresting than my twines I admit. The "Thank you for playing" screen is the funniest part of the whole game, and legitimately got a chuckle. Further there seems to be a sort of meta critique of IF/Twine games being a way for people to get "too personal" or to moralize/politicize more than tell a story naturally that has moral/political/personal elements. I want to believe that the greater, "meta game" theme, is that this is supposed to be a parody of that to an extreme degree, which I find clever. Once again there is talent here. I see it and that's what disappoints me. It's not an utter flop, but it flops hard not because of a lack of talent, but because either:
A) Someone just wanted to make and publish their Trump rant.
B)Someone got Lazy.
C)Why not both?
D) Why not Zoidberg?
E)The author is talented in other arenas than parody or satire, and stretched themselves too thin here with no feedback on if any of this actually worked for anyone regardless of political ties.

I apologize to the author for sounding so cruel, but I try to be honest about my reactions.

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