Pytho's Mask

by Emily Short profile


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Number of Reviews: 8
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Romantic and beautiful, January 3, 2023
by Lance Cirone (Backwater, Vermont)

Pytho's Mask is graceful and sophisticated. Everything from the theming to the characters has such a high-class charm and works to make you feel like a part of the world. The romance elements make it such an exhilarating and exciting story; I felt so blessed, assessing each intelligent and proper party guest as a potential partner.

You play as Soteria, a noblewoman who's been invited to a royal celebration, and you don't have a clue what it's about. Talking to the kingdom's rulers, you learn that it's to commemorate the Night of the Comet -- a chaotic event happening every 100 years, that can mysteriously change peoples' motivations and mindsets. Plus, the King is sick, and someone is out to get him... but who?

Pytho's Mask is a conversation game with light puzzles. A majority of this game is spent talking to people, working out their motivations, and piecing together who did it. It's a fantasy story with romance elements -- the Prince seems to have taken a liking to you (even though he admits he could do better), but others will tell you he's not the most faithful. It's up to you to decide whether to go with it, turn him away, or even go for someone else.

The game is good at giving you opportunities to understand its lore-heavy backstory. If you have a question about what something is, go ahead and ask someone who's knowledgeable about it. If you don't know where they are, just strike up a conversation with whoever's nearby and ask them. If you idle in a crowded area, you'll overhear some gossip that hints at where you can go or what you should do next. It's very much possible to figure this game out on your own, since the focus is more on the story, but the puzzles are a nice addition.

The game's writing is simply amazing. These characters all have their own memorable personalities -- I was especially a fan of Avril, who's disrespected by the other attendees for his emphasis on fashion and tendency to judge people based on it, but turns out to be one of the most sensible and likeable people in the game. We shared a mutual hatred of Valkir, how could I not love him? Each character has something unique to say about a given topic. It lets you draw your own conclusions as to who you like and who you don't, and there's a lot to play around with.

Pytho's Mask is an absolute gem, and ranks among my favorite interactive fiction pieces, period.

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