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Aquarium

by Hannah Powell-Smith profile

Episode 1 of Cute Guys (And The Lies You Tell Them)
Romance
2014

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Number of Reviews: 2
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Romance simulator--with a twist, April 2, 2017
by streever (America)
This fun little Twine piece takes a classic convention of IF--the amnesiac protagonist--and puts a new spin on it, featuring a character with an extensive but mysterious and shadowy past. The protagonist has big secrets to hide, but she's also a normal person on a date, and she's trying to balance the tension of her hidden identity with her genuine interest in her classmate.

This piece wasn't as tense as the follow-up, Thanksgiving, because it isn't as linear; instead, it presents a limited open-world concept (within the confines of the Aquarium), which held through some fairly complex state tracking regardless of how I tried to subvert or break it.

The technical complexity is matched by the writing, which manages to be fresh and creative despite the modular framework; very impressive.

I loved the tenseness of Thanksgiving, but both works are strong and stand on their own as fun and replayable pieces. This piece feels more open and replayable--I have the sense that even more is going on here than I found in a few run-throughs--which is both frustrating and compelling. On balance, it's a rewarding, challenging, and intriguing work.