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Graveyard Strolls

by Adina Brodkin profile

2022

Web Site

(based on 9 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

The sky is grey. The sun is setting. Youíve never been a believer in ghosts, but they still want to tell you all their secrets as you wander their graveyard.

Become a ghost therapist as you explore a graveyard at night.

Content warning: Death, murder, blood, supernatural freaky occurrences, light body horror, mentions of abuse and child abuse.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2022
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Texture
IFID: Unknown
TUID: y83yyfyhjwhmrlm

Awards

39th Place - tie - 28th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2022)

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Number of Reviews: 2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Haunted by Font-changes, November 23, 2022
by JJ McC
Related reviews: IFComp 2022

Adapted from an IFCOMP22 Review

This one feels like an anthology of sorts. The protagonist is walking through a graveyard, interacting with unconnected stories of spectral apparitions. Initially, I didnít approach it that way, but ultimately, thatís where I landed.

The presentation suffers some issues, one much bigger than the others. A smaller one is palette choice. The opening screen spends some time talking about the greyness of the location (incidentally in a way that could definitely use some better word choices). But the game is presented in tans and browns! That is a real missed opportunity to use the presentation to reinforce the mood of the piece. It does integrate a single picture in one thread, but because it is the only picture ever used it kind of jars. Even graphically, its blue clashes with the tan in a way that gives the page a slapdash look.

The biggest presentation issue by far however was font sizing, an apparent artifact of the Texture engine. As you make selections throughout the game, text gets added to the screen. Distressingly often, the entire screen font size shrinks, often more than one size, to accommodate the additional words. I cannot overstate how intrusive this was to the experience. At first it wasnít clear that you werenít seeing an entirely new screen. Then you had to parse an entirely unfamiliar block of text to find the new stuff (which was not always at the end). Then next choice, BAM, new screen of much larger font. It was distracting and off putting all at once. Iím calling this Intrusive. Though not a bug per se, it had the effect of one.

Gameplay was also uneven. I got two end screens in maybe three clicks by choosing not-obviously-wrong paths. This is a personal points-off for me - if I can Ďdieí due to not-obvious choices within two minutes (and there doesnít seem to be an artistic reason why), Iím already not on the gameís side. It's punishing me for something I have no way of knowing is Ďbad.í I did dive in again, and trained to go a different way, I did. Thatís where the anthology approach opened up for me, which does kind of partially mitigate the quick-death thing. There isnít really a through line to worry about.

The engagements were uneven. Some felt arbitrary, some pulled with unearned emotion, one dark and personal. All of them peppered with the font sizing issues. But one was notable - an encounter with a spectre who hadÖ niche beliefsÖ in prior life. The decisions for this encounter seemed varied and impactful, and the decision path I took through was surprisingly nuanced, generous and touching. Definitely more nuanced than the other encounters. If that font hadnít kept jumping in my face, this could have been a Spark of Joy.

As it was, I found this entry mostly Mechanical and unpleasantly Technically Intrusive.


Played: 10/21/22
Playtime: 30min, 4 different endings
Artistic/Technical rankings: Mechanical/Intrusive
Would Play Again? No, experience seems complete

Artistic scale: Bouncy, Mechanical, Sparks of Joy, Engaging, Transcendent
Technical scale: Unplayable, Intrusive, Notable (Bugginess), Mostly Seamless, Seamless


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A Texture story about several ghosts in a graveyard, October 21, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

I initially misinterpreted this game quite a bit. I found 2-3 bad endings early on and thought that was the whole game, and was pretty disappointed.

But it turns out it's actually a 'gauntlet' structure game, with multiple binary choices, one leading to death/failure, one leading to success.

If you find the right path, the game leads you through several different ghosts, each of which are very distinct from each other. The 'failure' text actually gives a lot of background you can't get from just succeeding; fortunately, the other coded in mini check points for these parts of the game.

I enjoyed this the most out of the texture games I tried during this competition. It had some interesting themes about grief and those who may or may not deserve it, as well as the fun cast of characters. It is polished and descriptive and has interesting interactivity, but I didn't feel a strong emotional connection for some reason or another. Worth checking out.

This was my former review:
This is a tiny game written in the Texture language, which involves dragging verbs onto nouns.

When I say tiny, I mean it's only 3 or 4 screens, with 1-3 possible actions per screen and a couple paragraphs per page.

Tiny isn't necessarily bad; I love the Twiny jam games, which had < 100 words each, and even made some of my own games inspired by them. But this game and story don't have any features that benefit from brevity, like branching or innovative twists.

What is here is entirely competent: nice artwork, interesting writing, some fun action design. It could be a fine story/game if expanded.





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