Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the StoryI train to fight angels in a monastery by the sea.
TW: Suicidal ideation, ableism, abuse, possible epilepsy trigger.
9th Place overall; 2nd Place, Miss Congeniality Award - 19th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2013)
Nominee, Best Game; Winner, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Setting; Nominee, Best Implementation - 2013 XYZZY Awards
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 3
Write a review
The game isn't too long, about half an hour. There's a lot of surreal elements in it, which I thought were brilliant: it made the whole experience very powerful and vivid. The prose feels raw and emotional, which I understand seems to be Porpentine's writing style; it works great here, because the game focuses on trauma and its consequences, and it really makes you feel what the character feels. Sometimes there's weird details thrown in, and they never fail to make the text more evocative. Sound and animations are sometimes used to complement the atmosphere, and I thought it worked well when they were used.
Also, gameplay is very cleverly used to convey emotions (that bit where (Spoiler - click to show)you just can't stop crushing the angel was absolutely brilliant). Finally, I found the final sequence very smart and powerful ((Spoiler - click to show)the game where you must be the last one bleeding, so to speak - it felt like a weird cross between Marienbad and Chuck Palahniuk).
There were also a few flaws in the game; for instance, it feels kind of disjointed, and I'm not sure I understood how everything fit together in the end ((Spoiler - click to show)the basement in the first location with the bottles containing your faces is interesting imagery, but I still don't really see the connection to what I felt was the main theme of the game). Also, Porpentine's distinctive style, of raw, no-bullshit sentences and emotions, means that sometimes it feels a bit sore or like it's missing its target and fails to evoke anything to you, or evokes the wrong thing - I guess it's a risk to take. (One of the things that really didn't work for me is (Spoiler - click to show)the use of the term "your nemesis" in the final sequence: in my head, this particular word feels overly dramatic, and I associate it with James Bond villains - I get that the intent was to stress that this character was absolute evil to you, but at that point I was so into the story that I didn't need a reminder that he was evil: a simple "him" or "the bastard" would have been more effective than "nemesis", which I felt made the prose go a bit over-the-top).
But anyway, this game worked very well for me for most of the things it attempted to do, and is really a very good and powerful game.
On to Howling Dogs!
A game that evokes strong emotions, February 3, 2016
The game contains many dark themes, including abuse, death, self-abuse, etc. The game includes strong profanity at key moments to convey depth of emotion.
The game is fascinating to play. Many of Porpentine's game give you the same visceral feel, but the amount of carnage and sexual violence varies, from Cyberqueen on the bad end to Howling Dogs and With Those We Love Alive on the other. This game falls in the middle, more towards the less gruesome side.
A story that will stick with you. Also, good implementation of special text effects, player input, exploration and inventory management, and multiple, endings involving moral choices.
Not a happy game, but a meaningful game.
It seems Porpentine, when not in the mood for blatant puke-inducing passages, is able of showcasing fine word craftsmanship. The short poetic prose is quite excellent, and the metaphors creatively apt. Each verse pulsates through the screen vividly, each given proper screen estate as you usually don't find in static poems.
There are quite a few game-like aspects -- the few lock-and-key puzzles, a few tasks to complete -- and a few meta-game aspects -- like chosing this or that setting or your personal features -- but the poem really shines in the writing and message.
On the whole, an enjoyable renunion of fine presentation choices (including the loveable font, font effects and sound effects). Even though what it presents us is a bleak story of (Spoiler - click to show)rape, abortion and dehumanization. Poetry that matters, after all.
If you enjoyed their angelical understanding...
Related GamesPeople who like their angelical understanding also gave high ratings to these games:
|Join This Cult!, by ClickHole|
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
It’s a quiet morning, and you’re sitting alone in your small house.
|Captain Verdeterre's Plunder, by Ryan Veeder|
Average member rating: (25 ratings)
You should carry the bag. I'm more of a delegator.
|Damnatio Memoriae, by Emily Short|
Average member rating: (43 ratings)
14 AD. Agrippa Postumus, grandson of the recently-deceased Augustus, tries to avoid death at the hands of the next emperor, Tiberius. At his disposal: a couple of old manuscripts, a lamp, and a recalcitrant slave. And a powerful...
Recommended Liststheir angelical understanding appears in the following Recommended Lists:
2013 XYZZY Awards Nominees by Molly
Here are the nominees for the 2013 XYZZY Awards, roughly by order of appearance on the finalist page. Note that this list does not cover the Best Technological Development Award.
The locked cabinet by MathBrush
There are quite a few games out there that are well-polished, have good writing, and/or clever puzzles, but which I have decided not to recommend on other lists due to reservations about their content. So this list is a catchall for...
PollsThe following polls include votes for their angelical understanding:
Hypertext stories that make heavy use of text transformations by Bruno Dias
I'm looking for hypertexts that make heavy use of stretchtext and related effects to tell their story - Links that add, remove, or alter text within a passage. Swan Hill for instance makes heavy use of this, and my own work does too, but...
Best Endings by Marshal Tenner Winter
I need help with my endings in my works so I'm asking for any suggestions for games that have great finales, denouements, and/or epilogues, so that I may study what others have done. Thanks!
For Your Consideration: Games from 2013 that should be nominated for the XYZZY Awards by Molly
There were a lot of great games released in 2013, and now that the XYZZYs are coming up, it seems like a very good idea to take a poll of all the games from last year people would like to see nominated. The management has asked that we...
This is version 4 of this page, edited by Emily Boegheim on 4 November 2013 at 10:08pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item