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my father's long, long legs

by michael lutz

Horror
2013

Web Site

(based on 71 ratings)
8 member reviews

About the Story

A weird tale. Some parts make use of sound, so this game is best played with headphones. One ending.

Game Details

Language: English
First Publication Date: August 28, 2013
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: u6urdbmp6pdv6lk1

Editorial Reviews

Book Riot
"Two Pieces of Interactive Fiction Which I Love"
"This first piece is very recent and is basically a short story about a family in which the father, one day, goes down into the dirt-floor basement with a brand-new shovel and he begins to digÖand digÖand dig. And he wonít stop digging. The story goes on from there in a brilliant piece of creepy, riveting writing that I would have adored had I come across it in a book. Itís well-told and very, very sharp. I canít convey that strongly enough."
See the full review

jayisgames
My Father's Long, Long Legs
"Michael Lutz's piece of Twine-crafted interactive fiction horror piece My Father's Long, Long Legs might just be one of the finest, most cleverly executed pieces of freaky fiction I've ever read. Best enjoyed with the lights out and the sound up (and headphones on, if you're rockin' 'em), it tells the story of a girl whose father one day suddenly comes home from work and begins digging a hole in the dirt-floored basement of their house. Day after day he spends every free moment down there, coming up only to eat, use the bathroom, and work... and once his factory closes, he stops coming up at all."
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
My Fatherís Long, Long Legs
"My Fatherís Long, Long Legs is a deeply creepy Twine game, a horror story centered on an unusual and startling premise. The structure seems linear at first: often in the early stages there is only one link forward, or there are multiple links but they control only the order in which you will read the same text. Later, things branch more, but in a way that still never gives the player a sense of strong agency. The experience is instead always of being drawn onward to explore even though thereís the strongest sense that you wonít like what youíre going to find. Thereís no chance that youíre going to be able to control what that something is."
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(16)
4 star:
(39)
3 star:
(13)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(2)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 8
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Creepy, evocative, and very well-written, November 11, 2013
by streever (America)
Despite being an essentially linear game with one ending, this twine suggests the experiences of agency and exploration beautifully and with meaning.

The narrative is strong, and very creepy, and the technical capabilities of Twine are well-used here to give a sense of exploration and terror. Through text, sound, and limited sight, fear slowly creeps up on the player, and you may find yourself more in the perspective of the narrator than in a graphical video game.

The side stories and anecdotes shared throughout are well-done and plotted well. Although the story has only one ending, the possibilities suggested by that ending are complex, provoking speculation as to deeper meaning and intent.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Digging yourself deeper, March 22, 2014
As a story, my father's long, long legs is original, weird (in the Lovecraftian sense of the term), and excellently scary. It is the kind of story I will need to mull over for a while, (Spoiler - click to show)especially given the lack of a conclusive ending. The writing occasionally feels a bit lacklustre, but when it is good, it is very good. The concept is excellent and uncanny.

As a Twine creation, I'm in two minds about it. Visually, it's very good. The grayscale background is a subtle, superb touch: representing the dwindling light falling into the father's basement; brightening or darkening depending on the events of the story. However, once the novelty wore off, I ended up feeling that the Twine format was a gimmick. The story is static; the vast majority of segments only have one link to click to get to the next one. The narration didn't even use the simple trick of second person to give the reader a sense of agency. I enjoyed the story, but I felt I would have enjoyed it equally if I'd read it in print or on a static web page.

(Spoiler - click to show)Then I got to the final section, and the story unleashed all Twine's possibilities: a more game-like structure with several possible actions, sound, and a spotlight effect I've never seen in Twine before. All these factors do an excellent job building atmosphere and creating claustrophobia. The music at the end is perfect.

I give my father's long, long legs four stars on account of the story, mood, and some excellent use of Twine's possibilities. However, players who prefer some agency in their IF might want to look elsewhere.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Engaging and haunting..., July 27, 2017
by juliaofbath (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Related reviews: horror, positive, special effects
'My Father's Long, Long Legs' delivers a reasonable amount of fear and an even more significant amount of unease. The use of negative space and the minimal/dark aesthetic of the text supports the overall atmosphere very well, and effectively surrounds the reader with a murky, growing sense of dread. The story is slow and winding, and to me seems deeply reminiscent of classic short-fiction horror. Often, I found the text referring to the work of M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft, and these references were not at all heavy handed, but instead demonstrated an intimate understanding of horror and the methods of building a sense of the uncanny within the mind of the reader. Additionally, I was very impressed with the use of special effects in the text, and I felt as though they added to the reading experience. Overall, as a piece of fiction, I found 'My Father's Long, Long Legs' very effective and engaging. The story will most certainly haunt me.

However, as an example of interactive fiction, I found this text to be lacking. Although the reader is presented with a few choices, the story is overwhelmingly linear, with minimal replay-ability, something intrinsic to interactive fiction/hypertext fiction. I am not sure how more interactivity could have been worked in, which leads me to believe that perhaps this would have functioned better as short fiction rather than IF. Despite these shortcomings, I still found the reading experience enjoyable.

See All 8 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for my father's long, long legs:

Top-notch horror or terror games by madducks
I'm looking for games that are the best representations of horror or terror in IF.

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I'm interested in determining whether or not a clear canon has emerged within the world of IF/hypertext. Of course, there is a clear critical opinion regarding which works belong to this tentative canon, but I'm interested in what...

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This is version 3 of this page, edited by Emily Boegheim on 12 December 2015 at 5:29am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item