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The Anachronist

by Peter Levine


Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

In the year 1596, Anna is about to be burned at the stake. As the constable prepares to light the fire below her, she can do nothing but seek a solution in her own memory and imagination.

The Anachronist is a game in which you make choices that determine the outcome. By increasing Anna’s knowledge, you can create opportunities for her to act. By decreasing the entropy or disorder of the whole situation, you can raise the odds that the ending will be a happy one for all of the characters. If you try to conclude the story while knowledge is too low or entropy is too high, Anna will burn.

At the same time, The Anachronist is literary fiction. With as many words as a novel, it’s indebted to authors like Joyce, Borges, Calvino, and Pamuk. It uses modernist and post-modernist literary techniques–as well as an interactive format–to explore questions of perspective, historical change, and truth.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: December 12, 2016
Current Version: 1.0
License: Creative Commons
Development System: Twine
Forgiveness Rating: Polite
IFID: Unknown
TUID: risfsspmeerga8nu


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Number of Reviews: 2
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Difficult, but rewarding, February 21, 2017
The Anachronist demands quite a bit of the reader. Long passages require patience, and one must be prepared to treat this more as a book than a game. Not recommended to play in one sitting. However, Levine is a skilled and knowledgeable writer, and the experience is rewarding.

The Anachronist is set in the 16th century, and Levine provides plenty of illustrations and quotations to immerse the reader in that world. Levine does an excellent job of thinking in the 16th century logic of his characters.

My one small gripe is that the narrative voice is sometimes inconsistent. While most sentences sound 'literary', others are surprisingly straightforward, closer to spoken English. Perhaps this was intentional, as the casual sentences feel anachronistic, but it felt more like the narrator accidentally falling out of character. However, the simpler sentences do make the story easier to read.

It's clear that an incredible amount of work and research has gone into this story, and it deserves much more attention.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Ambitious, February 20, 2017
The amount of time and effort that must have gone into this is staggering. Although this is considerably more involved than what I typically look for, I feel I must give credit where credit is due for the good of others who might come across this review. This is a great story stemming from a possibly even greater concept, and a good choice for those who don't mind taking breaks and coming back for more.

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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Peter Levine on 28 December 2016 at 5:34pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item