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spooky action at a distance

a SFF & IF review

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reviewer: arkady

REVIEW THEME #3: Aliens

Our third themed review exchange. This time: ALIENS.

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IF review: voice and cohesion in “Birdland”

Birdland, by Brendan Patrick Hennessy, is playable here: http://birdland.camp/

(Birdland is another Twine game, but a much more complex and multi-branching one than most of the Twine I’ve played so far. It has a statistics system, where the choices that the reader makes have a direct influence on what further choices they will be able to make. I note that it has enormous replay value, something that is new to me in IF that I’ve read.)

There’s been a whole lot of press and positive buzz about Birdland, and I am not likely to be original in my effusive praise of the thing, but I have been having a lot of thoughts about the nature of the interactive part of interactive fiction, especially after my experience with First Draft of the Revolution, and Birdland is an example of something I’m still struggling to articulate: how to manage character creation and ‘game’ elements while keeping a consistent narrative voice and a cohesive sense of the protagonist’s personality.

So this is less of a review and more of a meditation on style.

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REVIEW THEME #2: Writing in Games; Games in Writing

Games about writing; writing about playing games. The second themed review exchange. Two rec lists; two reviews.

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IF REVIEW – travel & the iterative self: “Detritus”

Playable for free online here: http://maryhamilton.co.uk/detritus/

Mary Hamilton’s “Detritus”, like last week’s game, is written in Twine – but unlike “Solarium”, “Detritus” is not using Twine to tell a story so much as to experiment with the creation of a self – which, of course, is a kind of story in its own right.

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