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Cactus Blue Motel

by Astrid Dalmady profile

2016

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(17)
4 star:
(25)
3 star:
(6)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 7
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1-7 of 7


Beautiful and simple, July 7, 2017
The writing, the design and simple mechanics all worked really well together here. It made it easy to just enjoy the story. Very nice.

A heavily location-based long Twine with excellent styling, May 22, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
It took me 209 choices to complete this game on my third playthrough.

This game took third in IfComp 2016, but as of this writing, it has the highest rating and number of ratings on IFDB.

In this game, you arrive at and explore a mysterious old motel with a supernatural flair. The game uses two main types of links: mostly-static location-based links for movement, and then conversation/emotion links for small scenes that play out as you move.

The two kinds of links are very consistent, making for some great gameplay. The styling is also good, with some nice animations and fonts and colors.

Evocative surreal atmosphere, January 28, 2017
I found the writing and the world created here to be unique and very intriguing. There's a lot of uncertainty here: what's really happening, how characters relate, what the consequences are of your actions, some of what's really going on with your character. This works well both for the uncertainty of a teenager whose life is about to completely change and for the surreal, uncanny environment. All in all, while it's not as game-y as some, it's a well-done literary/existential twine game.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
I was there, November 7, 2016
by streever (America)
This piece transported me to my own confused teenage years. Trying to sort out my future, scared of adulthood, pushed by forces beyond my control, I desperately could have used two close friends, a road trip, and a magical motel.

Strengths include fantastic writing throughout, a sense of place, strong characters, and a powerful voice from a talented writer.

Weaknesses: Where is my soundtrack? What is the url for the motel website? How can I visit here? Why isn't there more? Will you write more? Can I subscribe to your email list?

OK, so maybe those aren't actually 'weaknesses' in the commonly accepted meaning of the word, but come on, let me visit the Cactus Blue! :)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Glowing in the desert., October 26, 2016
by Owlor (Sweden)
A gorgeous-looking Twine with a surreal Twin Peaks-esque atmosphere that is open to interpretation, but contain themes of reluctance to move on, very much recommended.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Run around in a motel., October 12, 2016
by manyways (NY)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2016
Haven't you ever wanted to do that, run around in a cheap motel in the middle of the night? This was a lot of fun and encouraged an adventurous attitude. I felt bathed in the neon glow as I raced around trying to solve the riddle of the place. Fun and trippy.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
roadtrip, conspirations, twilight zone, October 7, 2016
by namekuseijin (anywhere but home)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2016
3 girls on a roadtrip stop by an old motel in the middle of the desert to spend the night. Once the neon flower is lit, the hotel comes to life with a plethora of eccentric characters reeking of nostalgic times. Should the girls move ahead, should they stay? Do they even have reasons to go on? What's going on? I thought it might hide some horror behind it, but instead it treads along a Twilight Zone path.

You know, the setting and writing are pretty solid and really captivated me, despite being a bit too much of the short prose style and link-exhausting side. But then, as I kept playing to see where it leads, there it comes, tucked away in the literal middle of the road, blunt as a slap on the face: (Spoiler - click to show)the scene where they're walking to the phonebooth and they pretty much SCREAM OUT LOUD THAT ALL THIS FANTASY SETTING IS REALLY JUST AN EXCUSE FOR YET ANOTHER GAY COMING OUT SIMULATOR. just like Birdland last year and the myriads of twine output that make up most of IF these days. guess this is what we get for decades of puerile dungeon spelunking abuse...

5 stars despite it, thanks to gripping, vivid setting, lush presentation with fine typography and color schemes, some memorable characters, fine dialogues and storytelling, good dosage of drama, comedy and conspiracy... I don't know what to tell without giving out much, only that this is a must-play and well worth it.


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