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Winter Storm Draco

by Ryan Veeder profile

Documentary
2015

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(7)
4 star:
(8)
3 star:
(6)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 21
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- Stas, April 14, 2018

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A Frosty Treat, March 24, 2018
I rarely--if ever--give something five stars, but this vignette is a work of art. As art, as an artistic expression of IF, it gets five stars. If I qualify further, I may have to give something away, so just try it and see for yourself.

- xochie, November 14, 2017

- Ivanr, February 2, 2017

- verityvirtue (London), December 28, 2016

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A Surreal Trip to Veederland, December 16, 2016
by streever (America)
I loved this surreal little trip to Veederland. Winter Storm Draco has stuck; your job was to walk to the convenience store and pick up hot dogs, buns, and cheap wine for your roommates.

As a hearty New Englander, walking through a storm resonated with me, but of course, we can't buy wine at our convenience stores. That's a complaint about Connecticut, not about this wonderful work, which shares the same excellent sense of place that Veeder incorporates into his work.

Even though the game starts by getting you lost in a strip of woods between the highway and your neighborhood, it felt believable and real; I could easily draw a map of the area from memory alone.

One of the highlights of this work are the in-game clues. A slight bending of the 4th wall and a charming writing style lets Veeder directly suggest unusual actions and moves to the player, and it improves the overall work.

This piece has a mix of puzzles: a combat mini-game, a riddle, and a 'combine the items' puzzle. The variety makes it challenging, but all the puzzles are fair, logical, and obvious post-solution.

The ending is especially strong, and felt like a real-world experience, an important bit of grounding in an otherwise surreal piece.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Baffling (but in a good way), December 15, 2016
by TLeather (London, UK)
Winter Storm Draco is a perverse game. It defies the player to grasp what kind of game it is by constantly changing tack in both its gameplay and its story, beginning with exploration and a light puzzle, followed by combat, then an otherworldly dialogue before the much more worldly ending.

The narrator also delights in baffling expectations by occasionally breaking the fourth wall to remind the player that this is a game, mentioning the ďauthorĒ and at one point explicitly referring to the combat as a ďminigameĒ. Even the gameís subtitle seems to mislead: itís billed as ďan interactive documentaryĒ, but itís not what most people think of as a documentary. At the end of the game, if the player chooses to view a list of amusing commands, theyíre scolded and told that ďThis interactive documentary is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to amuse.Ē

Why the game does this isnít clear. Are the supernatural elements figments of the protagonistís imagination? Are they hypothermia-induced hallucinations? Does breaking the fourth wall remind the player that whatís happening may not in fact be happening? There's no answer to these questions, but the fact that I was left wondering them at all tells me that the game captured my attention more than I had expected it to, given its short length and seemingly banal premise (the game begins with the player carrying hot dogs and wine home from the supermarket).

Remove the postmodern expectation-breaking, and the game is relatively straightforward. Itís atmospheric, itís amusing, and itís varied (you may not quite know whatís going on, but you wonít get bored of trying to work it out). On the other hand, thereís not much to it: thereís only one possible path, thereís very little to do or explore thatís not part of that path, the puzzles are light and not all that satisfying, and the story is interesting but not particularly moving.

The game is well worth playing - itís short and intriguing - but you shouldnít expect too much from it. In fact, try not to expect anything in particular: Winter Storm Draco likes nothing more than confounding expectations.

- Squidi, October 12, 2016

- Brendan Patrick Hennessy (Toronto, Ontario), September 21, 2016

- Denk, September 2, 2016

- Molly (USA), June 23, 2016

- Doug Orleans (Somerville, MA, USA), April 29, 2016

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An amusing journey through a massive winter storm, April 6, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game begins with a fun text-effect introduction, teaching you about the background of Winter Storm Draco.

You then begin to try to get home from the grocery store to your house. You will encounter a striking variety of puzzles, including classic-style puzzles, combat, and conversation.

Overall, the writing is amusing (although the game clearly states that it is a serious documentary, and not intended to amuse).

This is a short parser game, and I strongly recommend it.

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), January 17, 2016

- Caleb Wilson (Illinois), November 24, 2015

- Sobol (Russia), October 25, 2015

- Jason McIntosh (Boston), September 29, 2015

- Marco Innocenti (Florence, Italy), September 29, 2015

- Matt W (San Diego, CA), September 29, 2015

- CMG (NYC), September 29, 2015

- Floating Info, September 28, 2015


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