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(based on 21 ratings)
About the Story
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall,” you say dreamily, gazing into its sparkling surface…
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 5, 2022
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
Best in Show, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2022
Winner, Outstanding Use of Interactivity in 2022 - Author's Choice; Winner, Outstanding Fantasy Game of 2022 - Player's Choice and Author's Choice - The 2022 IFDB Awards
Fairest (2022) by Amanda Walker - Full Playthrough
ferkung and jay___ram play through the Spring Thing 2022 Best in Show winning "Fairest," interspersed with Anne Sexton poems from her collection Transformations.
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Number of Reviews: 4
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This game manages to strike a fine balance between puzzle and story, giving fairly easy puzzles with a lot of 'oh, I know where this goes but I can't use it yet' moments. It reminds me of Ryan Veeder's work in that way.
This game is a mashup of many fairytales, including the 'three brothers' theme, three challenges, and stories like Snow White, Rapunzel, the musicians of Bremen, and many of the lesser-known Grimm's Fairytales.
It decides to show the darker side of many of these, with the darkest presented as exactly in the books. One lean I felt uncomfortable with was (Spoiler - click to show)the option to marry a prepubescent girl, but after reading the notes and remembering the original tales there's a good chance that was in the original stories.
The game has an interesting relationship between the player, narrator and player character, with a lot of dramatic irony (in the original sense of the audience knowing what's going on without the character doing so). This thing has been done before, but rarely in such a polished and enjoyable game.
Overall, the game feels effortlessly fun, but a great deal of work must have happened underneath to make this happen. Puzzles give you increasingly strong hints if you are stuck, a feature found in games like Coloratura and part of my own philosophy.
Large text dumps are fairly common, but read easily and are mostly based on the fairy tales.
I can strongly recommend this game, and enjoyed it quite a bit, perhaps the most I've enjoyed an IF this year.
The intro of Fairest places the player firmly in well known fairy tale territory. You're a prince with two stepbrothers. Now blow on this magic feather and do weird questy things so they don't grab your kingdom out from under your royal arse.
The world in which you are supposed to do the questy things is cleverly put together. The map I drew looks far smaller than how the lands I travelled through felt. A few cutscenes where you run and tumble behind a magically fluttering feather and a strategically well-placed but temporarily cordoned-off bridge give the feeling of a very large space. (Can you guess why the bridge is cordoned-off?)
The questy things themselves come in threes. As such things do in fairy tales...
Three times you are presented with a princely objective, and must overcome obstacles to attain it. The puzzles are not hard. Aside from flailing about a bit trying to guess a character's name (no, not (Spoiler - click to show)Rumplestiltskin, although he does play a part), I managed to get through the game without much trouble.
The mildness of the puzzles left me with more brainspace to admire the narrative itself. As you guide your high and mighty princey-wincey through the story, you encounter a veritable hodge podge of fairy tale ingredients. Sometimes these are drawn pretty reliably from the source material, other times they're just a passing shout out to a well known trope or tale. ((Spoiler - click to show)Like the town of Hamelin. I was a little sad that the piper and the children from that tale were not included....)
Regarding the source material, the author manages to simultaneously go forward and backward in time with her interpretation.
-Although there is no material unsuitable for children in the game, there are however plenty of nudges and winks to the ancient folk tales with their grim horror and cautionary content.
-At the same time, the familiar tropes (gender roles, destiny by birthright) of the genre are questioned, criticized and sometimes outright ridiculed.
The depth of implementation is astonishing, as is the immersive power of this game. Both of these are intimately connected to a very clever layer of meta-story strung through the story. Without elaborating too much, I'll say that it reminded me (almost chillingly so) of a key moment in Michael Ende's The Neverending Story.
An extraordinary feat. Fantastic game.
Yet another piece of art work from Amanda.
This is an original threatment for an old kind of adventure.
This game started as a simply way for bringing today an actualization about fairies, but become a polished, inmersive, full lenght game with a lot of final endings.
It is a easy game but as this is a full one, you will need to take some notes and writting down some maps.
The last interest is in using special commands to retrieve all the juice from the game.
This is a game that you will play slowly, reading and tasting all the text.
I hope Amanda go on bringing us new if pieces for a long time.
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Average member rating: (20 ratings)
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