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Pissy Little Sausages - Spring Thing ’13 — Mostly Useless’s Witch’s Girl!
Okay, I just opened this game, and it is basically already adorable.
hee hee Lydia Dragonbottom
You reach the end of the corridor, where you are surprised to find a gigantic spider wearing a tatty burnished crown and sitting on a frayed satin pillow. Could this be the fabled spider king?
SPIDER KING IS TOO CUTE
CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT
PLEASE SEND OXYGEN BY EVENING POST
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
Spring Thing 2013: Witch’s Girl
It’s a light-hearted fantasy puzzle game with tropes from fairy tales and children’s fiction. Structurally a bit reminiscent of Andrew Plotkin’s puzzly multiple-choice fanfic Bigger Than You Think, Witch’s Girl rewards playing back through previously visited branches of a CYOA tree with new knowledge; it leverages Twine’s variable-tracking abilities to open up new avenues from certain pages. Illustrated with childlike drawings, it looks and feels different both from parser IF and from many of the blue-and-black Twine games recently released.
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paean to wanderings
We're firmly in Worst Witch / Harry Potter territory. The main character's name is Oblivia (definitely points there), and the whole thing has a heavy dose of lampshading. We're in fantasyland, but it's a very English fantasyland.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Witch's Girl a browser CYOA framed as a children's story, and combines gently snarky humour, simple but charming illustration and a turn-to-page-N conceit to suggest a picture-book. Two small girls, Oblivia and her best friend Esme, encounter a witch who directs them on a time-travel adventure to save their (slightly hazily-defined) fantasy world.
The emphasis here is rather more on the adventure part than the saving-the-world part; in a few important respects the story resembles a game of make-believe more than a work of authored fiction. The long-arc plot is conspicuously an excuse to run around and have adventures, and is often temporarily forgotten in favour of more immediate distractions. There's a pleasantly childlike focus on the cool stuff that's happening now; but there's also a certain snarkiness about the whole enterprise that gives it a more disaffected grown-up feel at times.
Structurally, a degree of puzzle difficulty is added by a time-travel mechanic; in order to find items to solve gateway puzzles and advance to the next stage of the central plot, you need to use the witch's cauldron to travel back to earlier points of the plot and choose alternate paths. This means that you have to consume most of the game's content in order to win. Towards the end this devolves into lawnmowering through all the options, but it's less annoying than it could be; finding the last few items took about the right amount of time, as far as I was concerned.
My feeling was that it could have benefited from a little more use of state; it's a game about collecting items that doesn't have an inventory, which can make it a little hard to keep track of things. And it'd have been nice if there had been slightly more illustrations, more evenly distributed through the text. But overall, a pleasant experience.
This game is cute, and intricate, and illustrated with whimsically primitive but talented drawings. It is the story of two friends in a magical world who go on a quest to save the world.
Like the PDF game Trapped in Time or the Twine game You Will Select a Decision, Witch's Girl uses page numbers and 'Turn to page ...'. About a fourth or a fifth of pages have an illustration.
The game is quite intricate; it has an inventory system and a time travel system, and much of the game consists of using time travel to obtain various items and revisit different areas. I would budget a significant amount of time to play it (1-3 hours).
If you enjoyed Witch's Girl...
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Recommended ListsWitch's Girl appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Cute games by MathBrush
These are games which are cute and/or sweet, in the sense that they are pleasant, relaxing, appropriate for children, or meant to warm your heart. This doesn't include absurdist games or more traditional fairy tales with strong elements...
2013 XYZZY Awards Nominees by Molly
Here are the nominees for the 2013 XYZZY Awards, roughly by order of appearance on the finalist page. Note that this list does not cover the Best Technological Development Award.
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...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Witch's Girl:
Games centered around a "groundhog day" loop by Merk
Two that come to mind, which I haven't played in years and may be remembering wrong, are Moebius and All Things Devours. Games with fail states, by their nature, fit the bill from a mechanical level, but I'm curious about games where...
For Your Consideration: XYZZY-eligible PCs of 2013 by Sam Kabo Ashwell
This poll is a place to suggest player characters from games released in 2013, who you think might be worth considering for Best Individual PC in the XYZZY Awards. Leave the name (or namelessness) of the PC in the comment on your vote....
Child-friendly CYOA (or other interface that's not traditional parser) by blue/green
Most of the games I see on the "appropriate for children" lists are pure parser IF. Are there kid friendly games that have a more accessible interface? CYOA, hyperlink, hybrid parser--any interface that offers some help in figuring out...
This is version 4 of this page, edited by Mostly Useless on 14 March 2014 at 12:22pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item