External Links


Play online
on the Spring Thing 2023 website
Play this game in your Web browser.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

Etiolated Light

by Lassiter W.

Horror
2023

(based on 12 ratings)
6 reviews

About the Story

A marriage contract, an isolated island, a house that seems to gnash its teeth in waiting. You have saved your family - but at what cost?


Game Details


Awards

Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2023

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(5)
3 star:
(4)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 6
Write a review


Most Helpful Member Reviews


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
As dark as light gets, June 4, 2023

What this game does especially well is the creation of dark and unsettling atmosphere of dread, long before any obvious danger appears. I found it a page-turner, if it had any pages, and there was an interesting use of light as a source of fear. While I'm not sure that the story or characters were ultimately as fleshed out as I would have liked by the ending I got, and perhaps there's too much agency given to the player to decide the genders of other characters, when there's no indication as to why it would matter, I still found the overall setting one worth experiencing.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | View comments (2) - Add comment 

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A mood and a message, May 11, 2023

Of all the games I played from Spring Thing 2023, this one got stuck in my head the most, for a lot of reasons. In a genre that often leans on tropes, the story felt original. I really enjoyed the writing, which truly made me want to escape that horrible place. And rather than just being creepy for creepiness' sake, the game had a lot to say, too. Itís not easy to balance the choices and pace the suspense effectively in a story like this, but Etiolated Light hooked me from the beginning, made me think carefully about my choices, and kept things moving until the end, at which point I immediately wanted to play again to see if I could do better next time.

The thing I like most about this game is that it has a strong point of view. It made me think about the consequences of casually sacrificing others for our own benefit, about the illusion of light and whiteness representing safety, about the advantages of working together to upend an oppressive system. (I havenít figured out if itís actually possible to upend this particular system, but someday Iíll find all the endings and know for sure.)

Being able to choose the gender of some characters was also interesting: You donít know what the consequences will be yet, so youíre as unaware as the player character in the opening scene. It also meshes well with the theme of an ongoing cycle that keeps drawing in new people, leaving everyone vulnerable. And in my case, the pairing of the first two characters ended up subverting the expected dynamic in an interesting way.

I ran across a few minor bugs and typos, but nothing game-breaking. The main thing I found myself missing was a little guidance on how to find the remaining endingsóthough I did enjoy untangling the story branches by attempting to make different choices.

In short, I think this is a game worth playing. All the endings I found were suitably grim, and some of them made me think about the story and the themes a bit differently, so I think itís worth replaying, too.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Well-lit Gothic, May 17, 2023
by Wynter (London, UK)
Related reviews: Choice-based fiction

A short/medium-length Twine narrative about being pushed into an early marriage with the child of a strange, wealthy couple, and going to live with your new spouse on an unnerving island, unable to leave. It reminded me a little of Daphne du Maurierís Rebecca, even though the narrator of that novel gets married willingly: it had the same sense of not being wanted and not being able to escape.

The game does a great job of creating a Gothic atmosphere, with a protagonist who feels distinctly out of place and in the dark about what is going on. I say Ďin the darkí but the palette of this story is one of light and brightness, and the haunting emptiness of those, rather than the shadows and night-time that I would expect of a Gothic tale, and Lassiter pulls this off well. At the very beginning, you are prompted to provide your own name, and it is suggested that the name is something to do with paleness; later on, a character remarks that the colour white, rather than having connotations of purity and goodness, feels empty and hostile.

The choice-based aspect of the game allows you to choose the gender of the three protagonists - I played twice, and experimented with these - and also, wisely for a game that turns on the main characterís powerlessness, the extent to which you decide to cooperate with those around you.

The overall look of the Twine interface was very nice, and the writing was good.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

See All 6 Member Reviews

Etiolated Light on IFDB

Polls

The following polls include votes for Etiolated Light:

Outstanding Underappreciated Game of 2023 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 most underappreciated game of 2023. Voting is open to all IFDB members....

Outstanding Horror Game of 2023 by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2023 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 horror game of 2023. Voting is open to all IFDB members. Suggested...

Outstanding Worldbuilding of 2023 by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2023 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 game with the best worldbuilding of 2023. Voting is open to all IFDB...




This is version 4 of this page, edited by Cerfeuil on 21 June 2023 at 8:04pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page