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If you think you might like it, you will., November 20, 2019
"What it says on the tin" games often can run into trouble. They're limiting by the end. The risk is double with poetry. It can get sing-song or repetitive. But in this case, I enjoyed the presentation, and the size is just about right. Limericks do seem to have just the right amount of flexibility: not too short, and not too long, and they never feel too pretentious or too low-class. I like writing them. I've written a ton. You can say what you want, move on from them and not worry if they're any good.
But stringing even two together--well, I found this tricky indeed.
You've probably seen the tropes before, and the blurbs fully admit to this: the leader of a heist gets people together, there are conflicts, things go wrong and ... well, because this is a choice-based game, you do have endings. And the bad ones are indeed rewarding. I certainly enjoyed them more than costly special effects at a movie, ones that are meant to draw out the drama but just overload me. A limerick's five lines, though, feel just right to me.
With rhymezone.com and various programs to track the meter, I suppose we can be picky and say, ok, that's something the game SHOULD get right. But the more subjective stuff, like plot, pacing and throwing out rhymes that are clever but not overdone, obviously require care on the author's part. And that's evident here.
I think the most telling testament I can give to the game's quality was that, on getting a bad death, I expected a good limerick for the "undo/restart/restore" option--and I got one! So it's very detailed. It has the usual technical stuff like letting you track all the different endings, but perhaps my favorite bit was how (Spoiler - click to show)one successful ending laid out the possibility of a sequel. And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I'll leave you with this...
How quickly a game like this could
Grate awfully, it's understood,
Or stop feeling new
About halfway through
But don't worry. This one makes good.
I had an idea to write
A game like this but did not quite
Or really at all
Find ways to enthrall
With plot, humor, fun or insight.
The game's title thus brought to light
Ny shelved plans. So, quickly, despite
A wish I'd have spun
A tale half as fun
I'm thrilled THIS work got things so right.
(Oh, hey, look, this game helped me finally string a few limericks together!)