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You Will Select a Decision

by Brendan Patrick Hennessy profile

Ersatz Gamebook
2013

Web Site

(based on 39 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

A pair of knock-off choose your own adventure books from Soviet-era Kyrgyzstan.

Game Details

Language: English (en-CA)
First Publication Date: February 3, 2013
Current Version: Unknown
License: Free
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 5u4tg8c3n8wh590o

Awards

Nominee, Best Writing - 2013 XYZZY Awards

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(11)
4 star:
(21)
3 star:
(5)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
A high point for Russian Choose Your Own Adventure books, and for absurd writing, February 22, 2013
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: choice-based, Twine
The shtick of You Will Select A Decision is that the English translations of a pair of Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) knockoff books originally written by Russian computer scientists in the 80s have just now become widely available. The real author of this work is Brendan Patrick Hennessy, and he has created one of the funniest and best written absurd text games I have ever played. The two self-contained adventures demonstrate a deep understanding of all the methods of the original CYOA books, and so are able to mobilise and make fun of the lot of them over their course. Perhaps the most faithful feature is the way every passage of text in the games is tied to a real page number, allowing for the classic CYOA 'turn to' parlance to be in place.

"If you take on a fisty attitude and confront the witch head on, turn to page 53"

The humour of You Will Select A Decision is fuelled both by the strange outlook of the books' faux Russian authors and by the superb contortions of the translated text. The first story, Small Child in Woods, is about a peasant girl who sneaks out of her village one night in defiance of parental strictures. This story gives the authors a chance to expound on life in the context of their home turf. The second story is a lot more fanciful and has the reader playing a cowboy in Wyoming in the 1800s, a tale obviously begging to be mishandled by its Soviet Union authors.

We live in times when even a clueless person can prise the occasional linguistic gem out of the back and forth of Google Translate, but it takes a writer's skill and understanding of language to consistently craft and squish faux-translated words into a form that is funny for showing up all our assumptions about the workings of English. This is what has been achieved at length in You Will Select A Decision. Weird choices of tense, verbs and nouns are exploited to produce a constant stream of misdirections, surprises and absurdities. The fake authors try for a stern narrator's voice, but most of the time they succeed only in being capricious. The usual set of morals in CYOA books is usurped by advocations of Communist pride and anecdotes about obscure Soviet heroes. The main joke is that when the fake authors aren't waxing ideology, they're just clueless about how to satisfy a reader or tell a tale competently. The stories swerve towards or away from exciting moments in just the wrong fashion, and in a manner you can imagine would be guaranteed to irritate a sincere child reader. A great set piece may be followed by an unavoidable stupid death involving rocks falling on the reader's head. A climax may be steadfastly worked towards and then not delivered.

You Will Select A Decision remains vigilant in delivering this fantasy of a specific kind of hilariously bad, translated storycraft from its two starts to all of its numerous finishes. With more than 200 pages of content across both stories, the game also satisfies as legitimately designed CYOA, with just as many major and minor branches of possibility as you would expect from one of the real books. I laugh a lot in life, but I don't think I've ever laughed along with a computer game as much or for as long as I did with this one.

A humorous pair of CYOA games that lets you back up at any point, February 3, 2016
This is a pair of hilarious games which claim to be translations of old Russian CYOA games. This leads to some of the funniest writing I have ever seen in an Interactive Fiction game. The game is enormous, with a large number of branches, some of which converge again later.

What really makes this game stand out to me is the option to undo any number of your choices and explore more branches. So many Twine games have interesting options that you cannot explore without redoing large portions of the game. This alone made You Will Select a Decision stand out.

There was strong profanity at one point, but as you are penalized for using it, it wasn't especially disruptive.

If you enjoyed You Will Select a Decision...

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Recommended Lists

You Will Select a Decision appears in the following Recommended Lists:

The People's Revolutionary Game List by verityvirtue
Games set in dystopias inspired by the Soviet Union. Often involves bureaucracy, wrongful imprisonment and revolution. Suggestions welcome.

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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.

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Polls

The following polls include votes for You Will Select a Decision:

Sublime Moments by Sam Kabo Ashwell
I've been thinking about games that provide really brilliant moments. This is not about the overall quality of the game: there are plenty of excellent games that never deliver a clear, standout moment of unalloyed excellence. And surely...

Dystopia by dacharya64
I love dystopian fiction, and after playing Square Circle, I decided I had to see if there were other dystopian tales in the IF-verse.

Games with amusing deaths by Andrew Schultz
Lots of games have one amusing death, but what games best take the concept and run with it? These deaths could be nudges on messing something up, or even better, or even a nice reward for a reader who is playing attention and notices a...

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Brendan Patrick Hennessy on 1 May 2016 at 6:05pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item