Mere Anarchy

by Bruno Dias profile

Fantasy
2015

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Number of Reviews: 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Strong work of fiction with some limitations in game design, December 28, 2015
by streever (America)

Mere Anarchy is a fairly short work of solid prose writing and descriptions.

Dias leads the reader through a hidden world of magic, where class divisions and privilege allow murder with impunity, and the upper class, elite, wizards practice a might makes right ethos.

The basic plot points seem fairly fixed; most choices seem to resolve more around how you see your actions. Are you seeking revenge or justice? Do you have an optimistic view or a nihilistic view? Much of the story is told through hints and style, creating a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Thematically, the story is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere or China Mieville's Kraken; the class conflicts and hidden world concepts in particular work well in this format and with this type of spare storytelling.

There are a few game elements; a meter tracks your inventory and status, which includes descriptions like "Cautious", "Healthy", and "Steady". I didn't find much utility in these stats, but I suppose they add something to the overall feel and flavor; this is ultimately the only area of criticism in this otherwise excellent work. I'm not sure why it's an interactive story and not a short story; the style and prose would provide for an engaging short story that would likely find a larger audience outside of the world of interactive fiction. This criticism could apply to many works of interactive fiction; it stuck out here because the game elements felt grafted on. I do think it's a strong work of interactive fiction, and the interactive elements work and feel solid; it's the UI elements that felt a little off.

This piece is still strongly recommended; well-written, compelling, and engaging, I suspect this story could appeal to anyone.