Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Download

The web site has download and play-online links for each of the 18 updates.

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 Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

18 Rooms to Home

by Carolyn VanEseltine profile

Superhero
2015

Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

18 Rooms to Home is an experimental work of interactive fiction. It’s a day in the life of Yesenia Reed, whose life is far from ordinary, no matter what she might prefer.

This story takes place over the course of 18 updates, which are presented in reverse chronological order. With every update, the story moves further back in time – so the first update includes room 18, the second includes room 17 and 18, the third includes 16, 17, and 18, and so on.

This is a work in progress, being published serially. As of August 27, 2015, Room 15 is the latest to be published.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: May 21, 2015
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: Unknown
TUID: hc1r605zwa2tq7y9

Editorial Reviews

Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
This backwards, Memento-esque story structure might seem counterintuitive in IF, especially since it makes the player replay the story’s ending over and over. But Carolyn is doing something very ingenious with it. In Room 18, there is, as far as I can tell, only one way that the story can end. Room 17 introduces new information, skills, and possibilities, which in turn means a new possible outcome. Room 16 layers on yet a third (at least — it’s conceivable, I suppose, that there are even more variations I’m not aware of). Even when the player gets back to a room or prop she’s already seen in a previous episode, there are new possibilities.

This in turn does a great job of building up the player’s sense of consequence. Even when there are a lot of branches in a traditional-format story game, there’s no guarantee that the player will see all the variant endings, or that she’ll realize all the points at which branching could occur. But playing through 18 Rooms an episode at a time means learning exactly what is allowed to go differently, and why, as more and more past branch points are introduced.
See the full review

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

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


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Great concept, beautifully executed, September 19, 2015
"18 Rooms to Home" is made of 18 installments telling a story in reverse chronological order; you start with the very last room, the very last moment of the story, and each new room moves you to the previous beat of the story. This is a very interesting concept, reminiscent of 'Memento' and other experiments with fractured timelines, but the fact that it's IF, or that it's a video game, adds much more: the choices the player makes in the room N carry over to the room N+1! This means that the situation that starts the game when Room, say, 18, may not be the one you get when you play Room 17 and then Room 18; even better, each new installment adds more possibilities for a room or a point of the story that weren't available with the previous one.

As a result, it kind of feels like exploring parallel universes, and it's hard to tell which would be the "main" storyline; the best situation you can get for one installment might not be the best one at the next one, because you start at an earlier point of the storyline and you can make a choice that makes the situation even better... or worse! That's the thing: my first playthrough usually consists in trying to reach the situation in the next room I was in at the previous installment, so then I only have to redo the things I already solved; then I focus more on the new room, and try to figure out what I could do to make the storyline diverge and reach a different point. It really feels like exploring a tree of possibilities; and since there's only one more location every time, you can just focus on this and the handful of objects to try to see what you can do. This is why I would recommend playing the games in the order they are released in, starting with 18 then 17 then..., because it's fun to see all the solutions and possibilities the author put in the game, and you can just chew a little at the time.

As I'm reviewing this, we're at room 15; the obvious question is "will the author manage to keep this up?". It sure looks daunting, because if you want to provide a few meaningful choices at each new room, you have to consider their impact on the other events, and it looks like the number of possibilites explode. However, I'm fairly confident that the author will be able to finish the game: not all choices have to lead you to branches that go to the end (there could be ways to be killed, after all), and not all choices have to lead you to branches that have as many choices as others. Sometimes, some choices you make in a room avoid the problems in the next few rooms and make them completely linear! (and it's awesome that the author also thought to implement those possibilites!) And I don't think that it'd be a waste if the puzzles and content of an installment could be completely side-stepped in the next one; again, a lot of the fun (and I think the most meaningful way to play it, to get the whole experience, and play and ponder about alternate timelines) is to play it in order, and I'll actually be happy if there's a way to avoid problems that appeared in other installments, since I've already solved them. In any case, it's a huge project, and the number of possibilites and different endings is likely to be huge by the end of the game.

All this talk about the major concept of the game, and I haven't talked about the stuff you usually talk about in a review. Well, the story itself is pretty interesting, as it casts you (well, not exactly you since it's written using 3rd person) as a superhero with interesting powers, and you have to fight other powerful people -- it seems that superheroes coexist with humans, but still have to hide their true identities. The details so far are a bit fuzzy, which is part of the fun: who are those people, what happened for the situation to be like that, why did that happen, and oh man, am I going to be able to change this? You get a few details about the world, and the game presents you events that happened in the past by showing their consequences in your scene -- which is awesome, because you can kind of guess what will happen in the next installments, and wonder how you can change it. Anyway, the situation, personalities and characters that are shown make me feel like a TV show (also possibly the short length of playthroughs), not a Marvel movie; this is a good thing, because the game can set its own tone and explore its themes more quietly and interestingly than a *ka-pow* *boom* superhero movie, and can also afford to avoid the gritty-bombing-death-civilians tone of other movies. The superpowers are limited, there's no impending doom and destruction of the whole world; it seems to be a lot more about relationships, and a lot more personal, which makes it deeper and carrying more weight and drama. And, as I said, we don't know all the details about the world just yet, so there could be twists, things we learn about the past that explain or cast a new light on relationships, or even dramatic changes.

I'm *really* excited about "18 Rooms to Home", and wish good luck to the author: I really like this experiment, and I hope she'll manage to complete it!
Note: this review is based on older version of the game.

If you enjoyed 18 Rooms to Home...

Related Games

People who like 18 Rooms to Home also gave high ratings to these games:

PataNoir, by Simon Christiansen
Average member rating: (36 ratings)
The Baron's daughter is missing, and you are the man to find her. No problem. With your inexhaustible arsenal of hard-boiled similes, there is nothing you can't handle.

SKATE OUT!, by PaperBlurt
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
It's time to be skatin' and NOT think about what really happened last summer... ...a spiritual successor to my Twine "20 Strokes"... (a very short little project made for the "Finish A Game" Jam)

Cactus Blue Motel, by Astrid Dalmady
Average member rating: (44 ratings)
Somewhere between New Mexico and Arizona, three friends were driving through a barren desert of red rocks, and wide empty skies. It was the end of summer, the end of high school, the end of so many things. And then they found the Cactus...

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

18 Rooms to Home appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Best of 2015 (pre-IF Comp) by MathBrush
These are my favorite games that have been released this year so far. I'm sure I've missed some good ones. I'm also including some I haven't yet played. PLEASE comment if you think any other games belong on this list.

personal favorites from 2015 by Anya Johanna DeNiro
These are probably idiosyncratic, and I haven't hit nearly everything I probably ought to have. While I play catch up I'll hope to add to this list a bit as well. Also, there are a few IF works that are not yet in IFDB that deserve...

Polls

The following polls include votes for 18 Rooms to Home:

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible innovation uses of 2015 by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
This is for suggesting games released in 2015 which you think might be worth considering for Best Use of Innovation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not...

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible games of 2015 by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
This is for suggesting games released in 2015 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

Links




This is version 5 of this page, edited by cvaneseltine on 27 August 2015 at 7:02pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item