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Fix Your Mother's Printer

by Geoffrey Golden

Slice of Life Comedy
2023

(based on 8 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Laugh, Cry, Troubleshoot

Fix Your Mother's Printer is a "family sim" visual novel where what you say changes the story and your relationship with your mom.

It's Sunday afternoon and your mother is calling you on Swoon, the video conferencing app specifically for moms. She's having a tech emergency and you're the only one who can help! Will you be the golden child and fix her out-of-pocket printer? Make fun of her and watch her fume? What kind of adult child do you want to be? Remember, it's not just a printer. It's an emotional journey.


Game Details


Awards

20th Place - 29th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2023)

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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Game about talking with mom, fixing a printer, November 22, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is a Twine (edit: Ink) game about, well, fixing your motherís printer. It features some neat UI by Josh Grams in addition to the main story content by Geoffrey Golden.

Itís basically a long troubleshooting call with your mother, trying to fix the printer. In the meantime, she discusses your life and hers.

Mechanically, I felt like I had a lot of options. I could be nice or mean or sad, I could attempt to solve the printer puzzle in various ways, I could bring up topics, etc.

Storywise, the writing was tight, and the characters realistic. But I didnít connect emotionally much with it. Iíve had fights with my parents before, but Iíve never really doubted their love and care for me, it was always arguments about how that was expressed. Iím not really used to this situation where youíre on speaking terms but thereís constant barbs and negative comments and defensiveness. Even the way my parents were with their parents, there was some negativity and unhappiness (one of my grandfathers was physically abusive), but they just left him alone and were polite when interaction was needed.

So I think that this story would ring true emotionally a lot more to me if I had had a different set of experiences.

It was very satisfying to get the printer to work. I chose the nice options because it was fun, and because thatís almost exactly what I do when Iím tutoring math; you work through things with people patiently and listen because thatís how people learn, and so often the problem turns out to be just the one little thing you wouldnít even think about.

I donít know. It was interesting, and I think it was high quality. But gave me a lot to think about and made me want to text my grandma!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
I'm choosing the throw away the printer option next time..., November 22, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: ifcomp

Fix Your Motherís Printer is a fairly short and linear story, with a visual novel-like interface, where you try to help your mother fixing her printer ahead of an important presentation, through a Zoom-like app. There are multiple points where the game can end: you can go through the whole ordeal and fix the printer, give up before it starts, or annoy your mother and quit half-way through.

Printers are such fickle beings. They always whine and beeps when you don't use them, and refuse to work every time you have an important job for them. And when something goes wrong, they will never tell you what. Is it enough paper? Or enough ink (or the correct one)? Are the cables properly plugged? Is it a computer issue instead? Or [roll dice to select the issue of the day]? It's already a struggle for people who get printers, so when you don't have the magic touch... you just want to throw it at the wall.

Enters you, called through a fake-Zoom app, asked for help. There are multiple ways to handle the call, every as exhausting and anxious-ridden as the next. It brought back the many many times I've been called to resolve computer-related issues for my family, especially the passive-agressive snippy comebacks, the eye-rolls, and the conversation changes half-way through explanations. I seriously wanted to throw the whole printer away half-way through*. But I did like the little vignettes of the mom, especially when reminiscing old memories.
*and of course the solution is dumb, it always is with printers. they are the devil's invention...

The interface was quite playful (you wouldn't have guessed it was made in ink), with your mother's expression changing depending on the situation, moving around when she had to do something, and showing an unexpected visitor at some point. It was nice to be able to just click the text box to advance the story, rather than finding the arrow every time. And the dark mode is great*!
*How are you a tech bro and not using darkmode as your theme from the get go :P

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Cute but missing something, November 20, 2023
by alyshkalia
Related reviews: IFComp 2023

This game's delightful UI, emulating a video call (complete with a Mom sprite), struck me immediately and was a very charming touch. The game also features an accidental call disconnect and a few appearances from the family dog (<3), increasing the verisimilitude.

What I soon found, though, was that the verisimilitude goes a little too far for my taste. A significant part of the game is a very realistic depiction of remotely troubleshooting for a non-tech-savvy older relative, and while I had expected that premise to be balanced out by a certain level of goofiness, that portion of the game is actually played pretty straight and felt a bit tedious because of it.

Each set of choices throughout the game typically consists of a patient/nice choice, a more neutral choice, and an impatient/rude choice. I went mostly with the nice choices, because why would I want to be cruel to this cute old lady sprite? But that made making choices less fun, because there was usually only one option I even considered. After reaching the end I did start a replay to see some of the other content, with the intention of being consistently mean, but I quickly found that I didnít enjoy doing that, and honestly I wasnít motivated enough to go through the whole troubleshooting portion again, so I stopped pretty quickly.

Thereís definitely a lot to like in the game: lines like ďbush-shaving is a legitimate and beautiful artform!Ē and place names like ďWest FurthersburgĒ, for example, as well as the cute art. The story overall is sweet, too, at least if you pick the nice dialogue options. But in a way, choosing only those options made it feel too simplistic. So while I found aspects of the game well done, on the whole it didn't fully work for me.

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