Best of Three

by Emily Short profile

Slice of life

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Number of Reviews: 7
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Intelligent, elegant, and thoughtful, December 31, 2022
by Lance Cirone (Backwater, Vermont)

This is flat-out one of my favorite games of all time. Everything it does just struck all the right chords for me. The dry, sarcastic humor, the gloomy atmosphere, the way Helen and Grant interact with each other. You get a sense of what each of these characters have been through, and you genuinely do want to see what each of them have to say.

You are in a cafe, meeting up with an old classmate who you used to be in love with, and you want to prevent any embarrassing bits of history from coming back up... including a prank with your friends as part of a secret group you were in. You can try to distract from the conversation, focus more on the present, talk about your past, all sorts of interesting things.

The writing is hilarious and goes off onto all these somewhat bizarre topics or bits of history. There's Regis, the sculpting cowboy who Grant's mother is now dating. There's your English teacher who would squeak a dog toy into students ears when they weren't paying attention and now writes cheesy romance novels under a pen name. There's your twin brothers, who have a frog named Fuzzy and are completely unaware of how unfitting such a name is.

You can talk with Grant about movies, religion, literature, debate the origin of the universe, all sorts of sophisticated stuff. Helen in particular has a lot of problems with her mother that she can vent. And this conversation feels natural. You can see his posture and expressions change depending on what's brought up. Topics bounce around a bit, but it flows realistically. Your options are varied and make sense. Everything you do feels worthwhile.

The game gets right into its topic. No long-winded exposition; you can read background information as you want by thinking about certain topics. I was a bit baffled at first when it talked about "3Nigma" and all these characters I hadn't met, but the thinking command and the general flow of the conversation kept me on track.

The actual conversation content is beautifully written. It knows when to be funny and when to be grounded, like when you have a conversation over some poetry Grant dissed without being aware that you wrote it. Or when he finally pulls out the notebook of long-winded, embarrassing poetry you wrote about him, and you have to decide how to deal with it.

This game has become so comforting to me. Each line of dialogue gives you something new to consider or contemplate. It's a work of art.

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