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Fairest

by Amanda Walker profile

fantasy
2022

(based on 27 ratings)
4 reviews

About the Story

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall,” you say dreamily, gazing into its sparkling surface…

“You know,” replies the mirror, “I can do a lot more than just reflect fair faces. O, how I long to leap off this wall! I want to meet princesses, witches, and wolves … to win a throne and become a hero! What say you?”

Well, what say you, adventurer?


Game Details


Awards

Winner, Best Story - 2022 XYZZY Awards

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

Editorial Reviews

ferkung
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.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(12)
4 star:
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3 star:
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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
*Achichooo!* now where's that feather blown to?, April 25, 2022
by Rovarsson (Belgium)

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.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A twisted mashup of fairy tales with light but engaging puzzles, April 12, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

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.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A must play game from Spring Thing 2022, April 15, 2022

THE FAIRIEST

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.

Jade.

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Fairest on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Fairest appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Favorite semi-linear games by MathBrush
These are games like Anchorhead where you have a large amount of freedom, but you can't always return to the beginning. Generally these games are divided into chapters or days, with each one like its own mini game.

Best fairytale/nursery rhyme games by MathBrush
A selection of fairy tale games, nursery rhyme games, or games involving the Fair Folk.

IFDB Top 100 by Pegbiter
An automatically updated list utilizing an IMDb style Bayes estimator to calculate weighted ratings based on all IFDB ratings. Questions and comments can be placed here....

See all lists mentioning this game

Polls

The following polls include votes for Fairest:

Best cover art by MathBrush
What games have really good cover art?

fourth wall breaking by Cygnus
Okay, I swear this will be my last poll for the month. BUT. I love fourth-wall breaking. I am a simple guy. I love when games mess with me. There's a plethora of games here, and there isn't an overtly filled fourth-wall tag, so if you...

Outstanding Fantasy Game of 2022 - Author's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best fantasy game of 2022. Voting is anonymous and open only to IFDB...

See all polls with votes for this game




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