Story Files
Contains swanhill.html
A zip containing all story files. Story proper is an .html page.
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at

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Swan Hill

by Laura Michet profile


Web Site

(based on 19 ratings)
4 reviews

About the Story

Swan Hill is an interactive story about brothers who have grown apart. It has multiple endings.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: September 19, 2013
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: Unknown
TUID: xzsklx9j3oqpzlqj

Editorial Reviews

Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Low-key fantasy hypertext about the relationship between two brothers. One chose to rule. The other ended up practicing magic, which goes by the high-brow name of philosophy in the Swan Hill universe.
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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful, melancholy, and evocative., November 14, 2013
by Hanon Ondricek (United States)

This is a very simple Twine story with a smidgin of interaction. Usually this type of thing gets boring, but I found this excellently written, and an interesting story about two brothers. One uses magic, and magic causes pain. The more powerful the magic, the more chance it can kill the wielder.

The story isn't about this specifically, but it shadows the relationship and the obliquely subtle plot. This feels like a tiny fragment of a much larger world, and I enjoyed the little glimpse of it that this story gives. I hope this writer has more to show us because the story is achingly lovely and melancholic.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
You're never more than a click away from a string of wonderful sentences., October 10, 2020

Loved this! The relationship between the brothers is beautifully textured and well-drawn, the approach to magic feels interesting and fresh even seven years after it was written, and the interactivity is subtle and immersive rather than obvious in a way that felt in keeping with the tone and spirit of the prose - this is a world of things that go not quite said for years and years, full of characters living lives of restraint, and it makes sense that the branching should feel meditative and restrained too.

The writing in Swan Hill speaks for itself; it's full up with sentences that could cut glass. So in lieu of a review, here are a couple of my favourite paragraphs in Swan Hill, which I'd suggest maybe saving until you've gotten to read them in context:

(Spoiler - click to show)"Bushels of papers hide the counters. Crates are piled in every corner. The old experimental equipment— iron racks and dusty glass— cut a mad sillhouette against the moonbright windows on the far wall."

"Your brother shines his light onto a small wooden table and a split-log seat. A black and moldy breakfast encrusts a wooden platter. A withered lump of cheese sits on a folded handkerchief. On the cloth beneath the cheese is a perfect halo of translucent greasestain."

I loved this., November 11, 2014
by Chrysoula
Related reviews: fantasy, brothers

I loved the story, the setting, the sense that I was steering the story while making the subtlest of choices. It was one of the few hypertext games I've played where I felt like there was a reason NOT to click on all of the informative links and I picked that reason up through gameplay.

See All 4 Member Reviews

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Recommended Lists

Swan Hill appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Best fantasy games by MathBrush
These are my favorite games that include some sort of magical or fantastical element. Games with mostly horror or sci-fi elements are on other lists, as are surreal games, fairy tale/nursery games, and religious/mythological games. I've...

IFDB Top 100 by Pegbiter
An automatically updated list utilizing an IMDb style Bayes estimator to calculate weighted ratings based on all IFDB ratings. Questions and comments can be placed here....


The following polls include votes for Swan Hill:

Games with the best writing by A. I. Wulf
Games are a new medium of art. It's still a maturing medium. But still some works May have succeeded in being truly classic in their writing. As an enthusiastic writer I need to know about the growth of IF in this field.

Hypertext stories that make heavy use of text transformations by Bruno Dias
I'm looking for hypertexts that make heavy use of stretchtext and related effects to tell their story - Links that add, remove, or alter text within a passage. Swan Hill for instance makes heavy use of this, and my own work does too, but...

This is version 5 of this page, edited by Laura Michet on 15 November 2013 at 3:55pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item