Bali B&B

by Felicity Banks profile

Real world, Slice of life, Travel

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Number of Reviews: 9
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Delightful, heart-warming game about running a B&B and/or deciding your own fate, October 6, 2023
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 2 hours, IFComp 2023

For reference, I played this game during the first week of IFComp 2023, but when given the option to play the original IFComp submission or the latest version I choose to play the latest version. Not sure if there was a bug fix or what, but I would recommend this version to all.

In this game you play as the grandchild (you can pick your gender) of a strong-willed woman, who left her native land of Australia as a young adult to move to Bali and turn her in-laws house into a bed and breakfast hotel. You've grown up in Australia, part-Australian, part-Indonesian, and fluent in the languages of both countries. At least once a year you travel to Bali to visit Granny, but this year is different. This year you will not only be unexpectedly thrust into running the B&B, but you will have a chance to decide your own future in a number of ways.

What can I say about this game without giving away some of its best parts, except that the writing is excellent, the characters are the kind that you just want to spend more time with, and it actually got me to care about cats (a minor miracle!). Though getting you to care about cats is definitely a strength of Felicity's as I know from some of her past games. I've only played through once, and I'm reluctant to play it again as the playthrough I got was so lovely, but it feels like there are a number of different ways you can progress through the game. You can jump in headfirst to your duties or you can play the rebel, you can welcome romance or ignore it, you can be a peacemaker or you can choose violence (figuratively!). I thought the choices offered were great, and even for the ones where the difference was subtle I would sometimes agonize over which one to pick as I was shaping my fate.

Truly, the best things I can say about this game is that it really warmed my heart and I read each new passage with enthusiasm and expectation. There was even tension and drama in a few parts that didn't feel out of place in the overall narrative. Stories like this one and the author's most recent IFComp entry make me want to go play all of her games. Highly recommended!

(Also, she is totally right that brushing your teeth ruins the first few bites of your next snack!)

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