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About the Story
You embark to find that voice You embark to find that voice You embark to find that voice You embark to find that voice You embark to find that voice
95th Place - 26th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2020)
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Number of Reviews: 5
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A very brief story about a stutterer trying to find their voice through a therapy retreat.
Despite its brevity, this conversation is hard to follow. It appears as if the player character is the therapist, though the conversation feels distant enough that I was detached from both the PC and NPC. The topic is important and the journey could be potentially moving, but the dialogue does not feel realistic. Both characters have a similar voice (aside from the stuttering of the NPC) and there are few interjections from the author for any atmosphere; it's just endless dialogue without any breaks, and sometimes it's hard to remember who is speaking. Their communication feels rehearsed, as if they're trying to emphasize the pathos of the story without letting it come out naturally.
The ending is pretty cool, both story-wise and stylistically. It might be worth the few minutes of play just to see it.
So I don't think I really know what this one is about, except that the PC is bad at customer service or something. You are thrown into the story and basically never given any details or context about the plot or world. It is just a conversation between you and an NPC counselor, with very limited choices. Then it ends (Spoiler - click to show) in what appears to be an endless loop, with you clicking on the same thing over and over again before it resets. I never made it off that screen.
The only reason it doesn't get one star is that it was clean execution, no apparent bugs. A smooth playthrough.
Despite the probably-annoying prolixity of most of my reviews, I don’t have a lot to say about Sound. It’s a vignette-driven game with choices determining which bits of the story the player sees. The player mostly makes choices on behalf of some sort of doctor interviewing someone named “Orange” about her experiences and opinions on a course of treatment, though the perspective sometimes shifts between the two.
I found the presentation somewhat oblique, which I believe is often intentional, but is also sometimes down to some awkwardness of language that may not have been. Orange’s speech is often interrupted with dashes, which may be indicating a stutter or other nonstandard speech pattern (it appears that the treatment may be related to this). But there are also sentences like this, where she recalls being a barista: “I did not re-realize the complexity with the customization of the or-orders.” Or this line, after the player character asks about whether Orange plays a musical instrument: “You assumes she has the musical spirit in her as a maneuver.”
I’m not sure whether or not I reached the real ending. I hit a certain point where a passage kept generating new words, and new links, which in turn generated more new words. It was kind of lovely, almost a polyphonic catharsis or collapse (Spoiler - click to show)– there’s an implication in the text that Orange is rejecting the course of treatment, which is trying to turn her voice into something it’s not – but I wasn’t sure whether I was missing something and it should have been possible to progress past there.
All in all a memorable, if somewhat mystifying, game, though I really enjoyed the ending if ending it was.
This is a short, mostly linear Twine game with some interesting text effects and, to me, an inscrutable story.
You seem to be some sort of supervisor in an authoritarian system. You are monitoring a woman named Orange who describes the different job placements she has had. She has a stutter.
The story seems almost dreamlike (I think another reviewer mentioned that?) and the very ending used simple twine macros to produce an unusual text effect that provides never-ending interaction.
+Polish: It seems completely polished.
-Descriptiveness: Everything was very vague.
+Interactivity: Although there weren't many real choices, I felt intrigued by the ending.
-Emotional impact: I wasn't able to reach any deeper meaning.
-Would I play again? I don't intend to at this time.
SOUND is a particularly experimental choice IF that I’m not entirely sure whether I finished or not. If it were not for the blurb, I would have thought I encountered a serious bug of sorts, but no, what happened seems intentional. There are a few instances where you have more than one option to choose from; I played it twice to discover that it did not really matter what choice you make – the result is more or less the same. I’m afraid I understood very little of this IF, but perhaps people who are more experimentally inclined than I will get something profound out of it.