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With Those We Love Alive

by Porpentine profile and Brenda Neotenomie

2014

(based on 44 ratings)
3 member reviews

About the Story

no dreams

written by porpentine

scored by brenda neotenomie

Game Details

First Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 445d989vuwlh4cvz

Awards

Nominee, Best Game; Winner, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Winner, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Implementation; Nominee, Best Use of Innovation; Nominee, Best Use of Multimedia - 2014 XYZZY Awards

5th Place - 20th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2014)

32nd Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of all time (2015 edition)

Editorial Reviews

The Guardian
...this particular game asks of the player a particularly-intimate task: to draw symbols on your own skin while playing. Itís inventive and off-putting all at once.
See the full review

Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Physically Interactive Fiction: With Those We Love Alive
With Those We Love Alive is a free Twine game by Porpentine, a moving visit to a mundanely monstrous world. Her writing is so carefully measured, vivid yet small bursts, and a soundtrack by Brenda Neotenomie wraps the world around you. It is a beautiful and terrible game.
See the full review

Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
The work itself is beautifully made, the words and images striking, the music effective, the mechanic of skin-drawing evocative and lovely. But . . . it was also painful and demanding to experience.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(20)
4 star:
(12)
3 star:
(9)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 3
Write a review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Wow, April 22, 2015
by Chris Longhurst (Oxford, UK)
First up, a confession: I'm really bad at high-concept stuff. To me, games are just games and as such I always feel like I'm missing something important with Porpentine's work - some point of contact that other people have and I don't.

But even then...

Even when I'm not getting the full experience -- playing, as it were, with a towel wrapped around my head...

With Those We Love Alive is a really, really good game.

The writing is brilliant. The world just the right level of underspecified to sink its claws into your imagination. Crammed with clever and interesting detail, but delivered with that sparse Porpentine style. And you can play through it in an hour.

I recommend this game to everyone. Even if you're not normally a fan of Porpentine's games, or find them inaccessible, or just too weird to play... give this one a shot.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Liked it, made me feel and think things, July 3, 2015
by openmedi (Berlin, Germany)
I liked this one very much. There are bunch of reasons, but mostly because of the shared intimacy that comes with drawing on you own skin. I also became very aware how different genders manifest their reality and get manifested (if that makes sense) in very different ways. This leeds to very different ways of talking about our bodys "and using them" for world building. These are all pretty naÔve points, but than again I'm but a naÔve humanÖ I liked that it was more of an experience than a skill based game. (Spoiler - click to show)And it made me kind of emotional, although the end came a little abrupt.

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
the best homage I can think of is that it inspired me to write, March 26, 2016
This is going up front in the hopes of helping someone else - I managed to utterly, utterly miss the point of the game's central mechanic, in which the reader is invited to actively participate by drawing symbols onto their skin, thus dissolving the distinction between player and character. It's implicit in the text, but I'm so used to the experience of a game being purely virtual that I entirely overlooked this, and therefore missed out on an intriguing manner of interactivity. Someday, when the memories have faded, I intend to come back and experience this properly. (Spoiler - click to show) ... And maybe I'll be lucky and met this fabled slime kid, too.

With that said, the game I experienced on screen was so rich an experience that it seemed complete to me. The worldbuilding is deeply, richly apparent, better so than many SF stories I've seen. One is is imbued with the fascination, trauma, and frustration the protagonist finds in - carefully limited - explorations that make up the story's heart.

(Now I'm having a go at Twine myself - my first finished game will have a "makes reference to" credit to this one - and I'm finding that one doesn't appreciate all the subtleties of coloured links and backgrounds until attempting to code. That's the kind of art that works by not drawing attention to itself, and Porpentine is a master at it.)

If you enjoyed With Those We Love Alive...

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This is version 10 of this page, edited by CMG on 22 April 2015 at 9:39am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item