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About the Story
You are trying to escape with a mysterious briefcase, but your options are limited. Can you survive the chase?
91st Place - 26th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2020)
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Number of Reviews: 7
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As deathbytroggles stated, to really give any details on how this game works would spoil it, so look below for spoilers. My advice: play it through the first time until you die, then play it again as many times as possible for 5-10 minutes (or until you achieve victory). Personally, I found it frustrating and gave up before reaching the end. While the mechanic is very unique, I just don't see any way this could get worked into a longer, more traditional piece of IF without driving everyone crazy.
(Spoiler - click to show)I believe this IF game is only about timing. There are no choices to make other than when you hit the next button. While I got enough different outcomes to confirm that hitting the button too fast or too slow changes the story (usually by killing you), the story wasn't sufficiently interesting for me to fine tune it enough to reach the end. Your mileage may vary.
An interesting experience in interactive fiction, using a device I don't think I've ever seen in this arena. To say any more would spoil everything, so the rest of the review is hidden. However, I will say that this game is probably aggravating--if not impossible-- to play for the visually impaired.
(Spoiler - click to show)I played this on my phone and never noticed the motorcycle slowly moving across the top of my screen. If I had, that would have likely clued me into how to progress through the game. Originally I thought the game was unplayable, and that it was missing choices that would help me avoid constant death. I still figured it out on my own; on around my tenth playthrough I noticed I got different results depending on how quickly I clicked the "Move On" button. After that things were really straightforward and I was able to achieve victory in about two minutes.
I'm not convinced this is a story-telling device I would like to see more of with interactive fiction. Like a good book, I enjoy getting lost in whatever I'm playing; having to rely on timing and reflexes takes me away from that. One of the reasons is that to advance in this game, you have figure out which moments you have to be quick on the draw, and unless you're a speed-reader, you have no choice but to learn by dying.
The story itself is standard spy-fare and since you wind up just chasing a McGuffin it's not terribly rewarding.
This entire review is based on a spoiler that goes straight to the heart of the game, so be warned.
(Spoiler - click to show)Move On is a single chase scene, packed with action and presented with little context. Advancing through it requires the player to press a button at just the right time, determined by watching the movement of a motorcycle at the top of the screen.
Iím ambivalent about this as the core mechanic of the game. On the one hand, itís super cool and innovative. And the urgency of getting the timing right does an excellent job of conveying a sense of action and danger.
On the other hand, I feel that it doesnít fully take advantage of the core feature of IF as a medium: namely, a story told through text. Move On does have a good deal of interesting writing, but the thing is, itís difficult (at least for me) to read it all while also keeping an eye on the motorcycle! I ended up going back to reread it all after completing the game, but by that point, it was no longer joined to the palpable excitement provided by the timing mechanic.
So, Move On showcases a fresh take that has some great strengths but also some drawbacks. I think Iíd have gotten more enjoyment out of it if it were easier to read the text while also keeping an eye on the motorcycle, maybe by putting the motorcycle closer to the text or by giving some more conspicuous signal (maybe a sound effect?) when the time is right. But as it is, definitely a fun and interesting game thatís worth seeing for yourself.
This was actually pretty fun, but only because somebody gave me a clue about (Spoiler - click to show)looking at the icon at the top of the screen.
This is a short game consisting of around 10 choices, but the choice is always the same: Move On. In a way, this makes it like the single-action games in the parser world like Lime Ergot, Take, or Eat Me.
But how do you do puzzles in Twine with just a single option? The answer is ingenious: (Spoiler - click to show)there is a moving motorcycle on the top. Clicking before it reaches the end gives you one action, while waiting until it stops gives another. And that's all there is. I love it.
+Polish: The game is smooth and works well.
-Descriptiveness: The text was pretty generic.
+Interactivity: I had fun with the mechanic.
+Emotional impact: I felt excitement.
-Would I play again? I don't think this mechanic would provide a second replay as fun as the first.
Move On has an interesting gimmick, which is that, playing as the director of a political advocacy organization you must choose where best to direct hundreds of thousands of emails Ė OK, apologies for the dumb joke. Move On does have an interesting gimmick, but it doesnít have much going on besides the gimmick so Iím straining to pad out the word count (apparently I have for some reason decided to act like Iím getting paid by the column inch for these things).
Anyway talking about said gimmick is a mechanical spoiler, but itís pretty impossible to talk about the game without revealing it, so probably best to nip over and give it a play Ė itís short Ė before returning here.
To give some space for the spoiler-averse to flee, letís lead off by talking about the story and writing of Move On, which are certainly things that exist. To be clear, thereís nothing at all wrong with them. The premise is a familiar jumping-off point for video games, though more so in action-oriented formats than IF: youíre a motorcycle courier racing to get some (unspecified) data package past some (unspecified) baddies to your (unspecified) patrons. There are little bits of color thrown in around the edges, but nothing that gets you beyond Prefab Cyberpunk Game Ė in fact one detail, which is that some of the baddies work for someone or something called Belltower, I think is a hat-tip to the Deus Ex prequels (like, yer Human Revolutions and Mankind Divideds. Though I suppose I canít rule out that this is a very indirect precursor to Deus Ex Ceviche). The prose is action-oriented, typo-free, and does what it has to do, though honestly I found it hard to really engage with due to the mechanical gimmick, which we are now due to address.
The trick here is a clever one, which is that Move On is a choice-based game that presents itself as not having any choices. You only ever see one button to click Ė labelled Move on, duh Ė but depending on whether you click it while the little motorcycle icon on top of the window is moving or after itís come to a stop, youíll get a different outcome. This isnít stated straight out, but thereís pretty clear hinting (the opening blurb says ďkeep your eyes on the roadĒ, and explicitly states that those playing without sound arenít missing anything, which I found helpful as I typically play with music off). Anyway I twigged to it pretty quickly and I think most players will too, though I did struggle for a couple minutes unsure whether the only differentiation was moving vs. stopped, or if some choices had three options, like moving in first half of segment vs. moving in second half of segment vs. stopped.
Thereís a little bit of a guess-the-coin-flip vibe to the game, though on repeat plays, itís clear that some segments have some signposting: if the most recent passage of text says something like ďhurry up!Ē you should probably click while moving, whereas if it mentions a red light, you should probably wait. I noticed such hints in like half the passages, though, so thereís still a bit of trial and error, and of course thereís no save (the game only takes ten minutes tops, with a winning playthrough being maybe two minutes, so this isnít that big a deal). Once I figured out what was going on, though, I took to scanning each passage as it came up looking for key words, then immediately either clicking, or being a bit disengaged by knowing I had to wait, so I think this undercut the impact of the writing since it just became a source of clues for a stressful, timing-dependent puzzle. I can pretty clearly remember what happens in the first half of the game, as I was working things out, but the second half is a bit of a blur as a result.
Move On is a lagniappe of a piece Ė I would have loved for it to come between Tangled Tales and Return to Castle Corlis, to be honest. Thereís not a lot there, but it shows off its fun trick and knows to get out of the way before it risks wearing out its welcome.