You May Not Escape!

by Charm Cochran profile


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Number of Reviews: 5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A procedurally generated maze with some symbolic elements, October 24, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

I really enjoyed Charm Cochrans previous game, and I was surprised at how different this was compared to that. That one was a religious-themed Twine game with good graphics and lush descriptions. This is a stripped-down parser maze.

It's well-implemented and runs smoothly. You are met at the beginning by a man who introduces himself to you and explains the maze. You then go through it.

While it seems hideously complex at first, the vast majority of the maze rooms have only one entrance and one exit. If mapping, it's only really necessary to write down the rooms with three exits, which are rare.

There are several layers of meaning in the game, from the base Inform implementation level (with little meaning in itself), to the maze itself, to the objects in the maze (like the lizard you can follow or string you can leave behind you), to the messages from Everyman and the LED tickers, to clear political statements that are plain and not symbolic (especially (Spoiler - click to show)the gravestones describing people who died from being denied an abortion for a non-viable pregnancy or who died without anyone using their real chosen name).

Overall, I enjoy surreal games and well-implemented games. I thought that a lot of the messages were delivered well, and if it is designed as a way to feel the frustration of being a marginalized person in a white male cishet-dominated world, I think it demonstrates it very well (also the frustration of caring about the climate or similar issues and getting a lot of promises that don't get acted on). But the main gameplay loop was not one that I enjoyed; a frustration simulator is still frustrating; a frustration parody is still frustrating; a metaphor for imprisonment through frustration is still frustrating.

But given that the game seems designed to incur those feelings, I can only conclude that the author has succeeded. Given that they've so far made an excellent Twine game and an very well-coded parser game, I can only expect that his next game will be brilliant.

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