Number of Reviews: 3
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Taking "psychological horror" literally, November 21, 2022
A choice-based piece, written in Ink, based around a conversation between a psychologist and a patient (set in I think the USSR?). I say “piece” instead of “game” because the focus was very much on the story and the writing rather than the playing. There are choices to make, but with the feeling of not very much choice to them—both because you’re constrained by your role, and because your patient often doesn’t really care what you have to say.
That writing, then, is excellent. The patient’s descriptions got a visceral reaction in some places and the twist at the end was very effective—if there were indications of it earlier, I certainly didn’t notice them. It read like a very solid short story, interactive or not. The first time through I thought my choices didn’t really matter and any other sequence of choices would have led to the same ending; then I went through again and it finished differently. (Now if only I could choose not to bring up Oksana…)
My biggest issue with it is typographical. It’s a weird thing to criticize in a Petite Mort game, but the whole story is told through this conversation, and I was sometimes confused about who was talking and what was dialogue versus action. Quotation marks were sometimes there and sometimes not: “let the silence sit” was (as far as I can tell) an action for my character to take, and please, carry on was a line for my character to say. Some sort of indication of who each line belonged to would help.
Overall, though, the writing is very solid, way more so than I expected in a four-hour game. Whatever the typography may be, I’d have to recommend it on that point alone. And even if this brand of psychological horror isn’t my usual jam, the way I reacted to the writing shows that it’s succeeding at what it’s trying to do. Very well done.