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my father's long, long legs

by michael lutz

Horror
2013

Web Site

(based on 108 ratings)
10 reviews

About the Story

A weird tale. Some parts make use of sound, so this game is best played with headphones. One ending.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: August 28, 2013
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: u6urdbmp6pdv6lk1

Editorial Reviews

Book Riot
"Two Pieces of Interactive Fiction Which I Love"
"This first piece is very recent and is basically a short story about a family in which the father, one day, goes down into the dirt-floor basement with a brand-new shovel and he begins to digÖand digÖand dig. And he wonít stop digging. The story goes on from there in a brilliant piece of creepy, riveting writing that I would have adored had I come across it in a book. Itís well-told and very, very sharp. I canít convey that strongly enough."
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jayisgames
My Father's Long, Long Legs
"Michael Lutz's piece of Twine-crafted interactive fiction horror piece My Father's Long, Long Legs might just be one of the finest, most cleverly executed pieces of freaky fiction I've ever read. Best enjoyed with the lights out and the sound up (and headphones on, if you're rockin' 'em), it tells the story of a girl whose father one day suddenly comes home from work and begins digging a hole in the dirt-floored basement of their house. Day after day he spends every free moment down there, coming up only to eat, use the bathroom, and work... and once his factory closes, he stops coming up at all."
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
My Fatherís Long, Long Legs
"My Fatherís Long, Long Legs is a deeply creepy Twine game, a horror story centered on an unusual and startling premise. The structure seems linear at first: often in the early stages there is only one link forward, or there are multiple links but they control only the order in which you will read the same text. Later, things branch more, but in a way that still never gives the player a sense of strong agency. The experience is instead always of being drawn onward to explore even though thereís the strongest sense that you wonít like what youíre going to find. Thereís no chance that youíre going to be able to control what that something is."
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(28)
4 star:
(52)
3 star:
(28)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(2)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 10
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Creepy, evocative, and very well-written, November 11, 2013
by streever (America)

Despite being an essentially linear game with one ending, this twine suggests the experiences of agency and exploration beautifully and with meaning.

The narrative is strong, and very creepy, and the technical capabilities of Twine are well-used here to give a sense of exploration and terror. Through text, sound, and limited sight, fear slowly creeps up on the player, and you may find yourself more in the perspective of the narrator than in a graphical video game.

The side stories and anecdotes shared throughout are well-done and plotted well. Although the story has only one ending, the possibilities suggested by that ending are complex, provoking speculation as to deeper meaning and intent.


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Some great potential that it didn't quite meet, March 24, 2020

I'm kind of torn on this one. For most of the game, I was thinking "Why is this not just a short story?" It would stand on its own pretty well- there are a few notable grammatical errors, and I think it could have been cut down a little, but if I'd read it on r/nosleep or the like, I would have upvoted it. But as a game- or even as interactive fiction- it seemed to fall a little short. Most of the interactivity consisted of clicking on a word to read the next paragraph, which, ehhhhnnn. There were some points where you had to wait for words to appear, which worked okay.

But then! The end! The end was great! A really effective use of sound and there was one effect that I'd never seen before and worked really really well! Excellent job on that! I just wish there had been more- maybe different sounds based on the options you chose in the dark? And because the lead-up was so long, it felt a little unbalanced. I think it would have worked better if the story had been a bit punchier, and/or if there were some other ways that it took advantage of the medium throughout. I think using the final mechanism only at the end makes a lot of sense, but I think some subtler effects- sound, or even something as simple as changing the background color for some sections- just anything so I don't spend the majority of the story wondering why it wasn't just a regular short story. The ending answered that for me, but the fact that I spent so much time thinking about that at all undermined the experience for me.


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Digging yourself deeper, March 22, 2014

As a story, my father's long, long legs is original, weird (in the Lovecraftian sense of the term), and excellently scary. It is the kind of story I will need to mull over for a while, (Spoiler - click to show)especially given the lack of a conclusive ending. The writing occasionally feels a bit lacklustre, but when it is good, it is very good. The concept is excellent and uncanny.

As a Twine creation, I'm in two minds about it. Visually, it's very good. The grayscale background is a subtle, superb touch: representing the dwindling light falling into the father's basement; brightening or darkening depending on the events of the story. However, once the novelty wore off, I ended up feeling that the Twine format was a gimmick. The story is static; the vast majority of segments only have one link to click to get to the next one. The narration didn't even use the simple trick of second person to give the reader a sense of agency. I enjoyed the story, but I felt I would have enjoyed it equally if I'd read it in print or on a static web page.

(Spoiler - click to show)Then I got to the final section, and the story unleashed all Twine's possibilities: a more game-like structure with several possible actions, sound, and a spotlight effect I've never seen in Twine before. All these factors do an excellent job building atmosphere and creating claustrophobia. The music at the end is perfect.

I give my father's long, long legs four stars on account of the story, mood, and some excellent use of Twine's possibilities. However, players who prefer some agency in their IF might want to look elsewhere.


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