Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the Storyintegration necessitates evisceration
6th place out of 902 entries, Mood - Ludum Dare 25
praise from Harvey Smith (who worked on System Shock)
For deconstructing power fantasy; lovingly reminding me of System Shock, one of my favorite games of all time; for expanding the narrowly defined boundaries of video game subject matter; for excellent writing and a cutting sense of humor(?).
See the full review
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 5
Write a review
Most Helpful Member Reviews
Related reviews: porpentine
Don't play it if: you have a weak stomach for just about anything that could reasonably be expected to make a human being queasy.
The first two words in this game are "wet" and "sticky". And if you think the use of sentence fragments as impressionistic descriptors is passé, the rest of Cyberqueen probably won't be to your taste, because what it mainly does - what it does best - is transplant the experience of fragmenting consciousness into writing.
Cyberqueen is a war between intimacy and grotesquery, violation and transformation. The tone and content draw from the erotic and the clinically repellent, switch between them and occasionally combine them. In a certain way it reminds me of the Guillermo del Toro film Pan's Labyrinth, which had the audacity to sew together a wondrous, childlike fantasy and a grim, horrifically real war story. In both cases, the achievement is admirable, though exhausting.
The tale itself reads something like a fusion of System Shock and parts of Ray Bradbury's The City. Interestingly enough the antagonist, while malevolent, is not entirely unsympathetic, though she certainly stretches and probably breaks the boundaries of what constitutes acceptable sympathetic behavior. In certain readings she might be taken to be the protagonist, albeit not the player character.
The nature of this work's structure makes me wonder if it can even be described as interactive fiction, because while you are ostensibly presented with alternative options the game is ultimately an extremely linear experience. You are certainly made to suffer the protagonist's fears, pains and frustrations, but the "interactivity" is illusory. ("Sorry to ruin your power fantasy," gloats the antagonist as she seals your fate.) "Cinematic prose", perhaps.
The story plays with themes of identity, both in an internal sense and in a physical sense; it preys on the communal horror of deformity and dysmorphia. Which is good - it's touching on things of great social relevance. But it doesn't really discuss them, preferring to let them come to fruition in a more emotional than intellectual sense. Forsaking both the pen and the sword, Cyberqueen attacks the human comfort zone by wielding itself like a chainsaw. This would be a flaw under other circumstances, but I get the distinct impression that this was the author's intended direction for the story and as a result I must call it a success.
So why five stars? Firstly, because it deftly exploits the medium in such a way as to charge up the emotional responses we are asked to give to the events of the story; and secondly, because it is a complete and unabashed triumph in terms of what it tries to be: a fleshy, palpitating tale of agonizing transformation that demands your attention.
I'm not sure how to word this any better without getting spoilery, so if you're worried about spoilers, don't click it. It shouldn't take you long to get through the game anyway.
(Spoiler - click to show)Nothing you do in this game matters. You can cooperate with this AI, you can fight this AI, you can struggle against this AI, and it will all end in the exact same manner. Imagine if, in System Shock 2, you pick up a gun and then a cutscene plays where you're thrown around by electrical wires controlled by SHODAN, get laughed at and told you're worthless, get chopped up and turned into a robot, and then get a game over screen, and that was the entire game. That's essentially what CYBERQUEEN is.
"But it's playing on themes of helplessness and is subverting the players' expectations that they're going on some sort of fictional AI-buttkicking power fantasy!"
Big deal. It's not fun or all that intriguing to have nothing I do matter. If I wanted that I wouldn't be on a website claiming to be about INTERACTIVE fiction. I'd go and read it on some website for short stories or something.
It's not poorly written, by any means. I've seen far worse. It's just about as interactive as a roller coaster. You click some links, get a slightly different paragraph than if you clicked the other links, then it's back to the main text. None of my choices mattered in the slightest, and, ultimately, that doesn't make this or the vast majority of Twine games enjoyable at all.
See All 5 Member Reviews
If you enjoyed CYBERQUEEN...
Related GamesPeople who like CYBERQUEEN also gave high ratings to these games:
|The ORPHEUS Ruse, by Paul Gresty|
Average member rating: (1 rating)
Infiltrate the enemy as a psychic spy, leaping from body to body by touch! But when your own body is stolen, you’ll race against time to find it before your mind disintegrates. “The ORPHEUS Ruse” is a thrilling interactive spy novel...
The Curious Incident at Blackrock Township, by Bitter Karella
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
A Petite Mort entry for ECTOCOMP 2016.
|Andromeda Dreaming, by Joey Jones|
Average member rating: (13 ratings)
Aliss can control her dreams, but will this help her when she's stuck in a galaxy on the brink of destruction? Winner of the Andromeda Legacy competition 2012, Andromeda Dreaming is in the same setting as Andromeda Awakening.
Recommended ListsCYBERQUEEN appears in the following Recommended Lists:
PollsThe following polls include votes for CYBERQUEEN:
Fate vs Free Will Games by loocas
I imagine that the interactive nature of IF would allow themes of fate and free will to be used powerfully. Perhaps the PC is given a glimpse of his or her future and the player tries to avoid it. Are there games in which this is done?...
Twine-bending Twine Games by Mostly Useless
Twine games that do something you found unusual and interesting, not in terms of story, but visually or mechanically, or both. So not just white text on black screen with a few links.
This is version 6 of this page, edited by Porpentine on 4 December 2015 at 8:23pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item