Lucid

by Caliban's Revenge

Surreal
2022

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Number of Reviews: 5
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Interactive dream, November 29, 2022
by Cerfeuil (Happy 2024!)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2022

Interesting style of writing which is more poetry than prose. Prose poem, if you will. Love the surrealism and the moody atmosphere with its urban melancholy. The game reveals just enough to keep you guessing, but doesn't overexplain. The puzzles are dreamy enough to fit the mood, with sensible solutions, though the frequent deaths were slightly annoying since each takes you back to the beginning.

Sadly there are a few errors with spelling/grammar that detracted from the experience. And I thought the true end was too melodramatic for my tastes, but the writing is gorgeous. One of my favorite entries for the comp.

A few excerpts:

> The seventh flight
> Is dark and stifled like
> Sleep after middle age,
> Oxygen thin,
> Never quite enough,
> You wheeze on the unseen stairs.

> Borough
> You see the tongue of the main road,
> Pearled with streetlights,
> The sigil shape of the intersection,
> A track-flash light up the crowded sky,
> The lamplight-snake of the slope down onto the common
> And, deep in the park,
> A white light
> That illuminates the error between the trees,
> A glass house
> Under a tiled roof,
> A wrong home in a place not for people.

> The school eats you alive.
> Not at all surprising,
> You were certain it would from the very first day.
> They used to make you prey here,
> Taught you about homophones and stripped you down to your underpants
> To stretch on the greasy floor,
> Provoked vomiting fits in the hall at lunchtime
> And put you on a table with your
> Face turned to the wall
> And told you every day
> To grow up
> So you could get old enough to die.
> You remember writing something on the wall,
> Scored a red wound in the brick
> By the exhaust pipes that steamed like dragons
> In a secret language no one could read,
> Not even you.
> You wonder what it said.
> You wonder if it's still there,
> Somewhere inside the monster,
> Down in the black of it
> At the very end.

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