First Draft of the Revolution

by Emily Short profile, Liza Daly profile, and inkle

Episode 3 of Lavori d'Aracne

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Number of Reviews: 5
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Enchanting. Compelling. Ingenious. Groundbreaking, October 20, 2013
by Anthony Hope (England)

I'd played a few games by Emily Short before, but none that were set in the Lavori universe of First Draft. I now know that this was terribly remiss of me.

First Draft is beautifully presented and boasts an intuitive user-interface that effortlessly draws you into a story of power, intrigue, assignations, politics, religion and magic. I was reminded of the film Dangerous Liaisons, and particularly of the character of the Marquise, when I read about (or wrote?!) the letter in which Alise reappraises her sister-in-law, towards the end of the game. Wicked!

This is interactive fiction at its most literal and yet its most brilliant. You literally touch and manipulate the text as it's being written by the characters in the story. You're looking over their shoulders or perhaps inside their heads as they draft and redraft letters to each other. Is there a better way to reveal someone's quirks, foibles, hopes and anxieties than to let you dig into their very thought-process as they write? I'm gonna say no, there isn't.

This game or interactive text, or thaumaturgico-digital wonder is a demonstration of the power and the complexity of writing. It reminds us that writing allows us both to reveal and to conceal ourselves, and if there's any magic left in the world at all, then it's in writing that we'll find it.

I'm gushing, I know, but I can't help myself because First Draft is a delight. I have only one complaint. Somehow a mysterious, Lavoriesque connection seems to have been made between author and text: First Draft of the Revolution is far too short.

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Sobol, January 8, 2017 - Reply
I was thinking about Les Liaisons dangereuses, too, when playing. I suppose the novel inspired the game.
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