Elvish for Goodbye

by David Gürçay-Morris

2022

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Number of Reviews: 7
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Dialogue-heavy and choice-light, but interesting story and very good writing, October 23, 2022
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 1 hour, IF Comp 2022

In this choice-based game, you play a human in a vague, mostly fantasy, but a little steampunk, world. You happen to befriend an elf, perhaps the last elf in the world, one night. The great Elven city disappeared without warning and without a trace when your grandfather was a child. It seems so long ago it might be well be myth. But now you get to hear the account of the great city firsthand!

Where to start with this game? First, let me say that the author is clearly a talented writer. Unfortunately, at least for the first third or so of this piece, he seems to want to show off just how just how lyrical he can be with his prose and it gets to be a bit to thick. Thankfully, he settles down further into the piece and the story moves on elegantly and much more smoothly. Still, there is no doubt he has quite a way with words and I'm eager to see what other works he can produce.

Second, there isn't much interactivity in this story. There are a few choices that allow you to direct the conversation, and I suspect, change the latter story a bit. But I don't think that they make much of a difference in terms of branching narratives. This one feels pretty linear to me. Now that isn't always bad (see Turandot), but for a linear choice-based game to be good I think it needs to offer you lots of choices to express your character's character, to make the PC your own. Here I don't think you had that option.

Finally, I was disappointed with the resolution. For a fair part of the story I didn't think there was enough action, but the more tales the NPC told the more I was able to appreciate it for what it was. That said, I don't think that the ending was as fleshed out as it should have been. I think I understand it after a couple playthroughs, but I wish there had been some more specifics about (Spoiler - click to show)how and why the Elven city disappeared.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with the story, and I hope to see more from this author in the future. This was a good piece, it just could have been a bit better.