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Escape from the Crazy Place

by J. J. Guest profile, Loz Etheridge, and friends

Surreal/Humor
2006

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Number of Reviews: 3
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A sprawling absurd Twine game with a tangled and deep backstory, August 20, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
Escape from the Crazy Place is a sprawling, labyrinthine Twine game with significantly more content than games such as Birdland. It's absurdist, surreal, dreamlike, and ridiculous.

It's history is almost more absurd (parts of this may be inaccurate; play the TADS version to see more). It began as a physical handwritten CYOA book in school over 30 years ago, passed around by students and added to over time. That copy was lost, rewritten from memory.

It became an online html game before anyone was doing much CYOA html, then it became TADS in 2006. Now, years later, it's been redone in Twine.

It has dozens of authors. It has parts that are clever and exciting.

But it also has parts that are less exciting. One reason passing around a physical CYOA book in school is thrilling is because you can see the heft and size of it and think, "oh man, this puppy is huge!". Flipping through can give you an idea of its contents.

Escape from the Crazy Place is online, though, so you don't really know what you're getting. And the first passages are the oldest, by those with the least experience, referencing 80's and adolescents. The first about also loops around itself somewhat, making it even harder to get a grip on the size of the game.

I kept pushing through (playing with my 6 year old son) and we found a lot of really great content. That experience made me think that this is a good game to play collaboratively, just as it was written.