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About the Story
A young bride writes letters to her sister.
3rd Place, La Petite Mort - English - ECTOCOMP 2022
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Number of Reviews: 5
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As someone who's a fan of a certain folktale and tabletop roleplaying game riffing off of it, this was a lovely and creepy take on the story of (Spoiler - click to show)Bluebeard.
The letter-writing mechanic is simple but clever, and the writing itself holds together in a subtly creepy fashion. You are primed to the idea that this is one person trying to write and rewrite these letters to her sister-- that feeling contributes to the obsession and distress present in the story.
I do feel like more build-up could've been present regarding the attic, but it was a 4 hour game so, as-is, it works.
This is a charmingly complex game for one written in less than 4 hours for a speed-IF.
You are essentially a protagonist in a gothic novel, writing to your sister about your husband whose previous 6 wives have mysteriously disappeared. You can choose several different versions of each letter you write to communicate different tones, leading to different endings.
This rewriting mechanic is reminiscent of Emily Short's First Draft of the Revolution, another letter-writing game that involved cycling through different options; in fact, that game inspired the cycling mechanic in Twine!
The mechanic here hovers between too simple and too obscure but lands, I think, in a happy medium. The writing is a pleasure as always from this author, with many references to well-known tales (and some less well-known; I was glad to see Ann Radcliffe mentioned, as Mysteries of Udolpho is one of the few gothic novels I've read). Very neat overall, especially for such a short time-period for game writing.
Epistolary IF! I always love it when a piece makes use of the medium in a clever way.
This is a Twine work where the classic “click links to change their text; click other links to move on to the next page” represents the process of editing a letter. The story is told through the general outline of each letter; you can write and rewrite certain passages to your liking, then send it off. The story then advances to the next letter, a week or two later.
The protagonist is Helen Compton, recently married, writing letters home to tell her sister about her marriage. I’m slightly ashamed to admit how long it took me to realize what story was being adapted here, because in hindsight there were so many clear indications—in other words, I was as clueless as Helen about who her new husband was.
There are a few different endings you can get; I found three, and I think the first one I got (before I went back and chose “all the first option”, “all the second option”, and “all the third option”) was the best. The writing was excellent, it used the medium in a clever way, and the length and pacing were top-notch. This might be my new favorite to win the comp.
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Outstanding Worldbuilding of 2022 - Player'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 game with the best worldbuilding of 2022. Voting is open to all IFDB...