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Reviews by E.K.

CYOA

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View this member's reviews by tag: CYOA dating sim David Whyld ectocomp Geek horror humour Jim Aikin meta multiple playthroughs new authors philosophy retro romance sci-fi spring thing Spring Things twine western
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Who Are You, Mr Cooper?, by Litvinov Serhiy
Potentially interesting 80 Days-alike, but too flawed., August 8, 2016
by E.K.
Related reviews: CYOA
I was initially intrigued by this steampunk travel-mystery. While the premise and (very well done) graphics are a little close to '80 Days' for comfort, there's still a lot of room for creating a story of one's own in a familiar world. However, this game is simply too flawed to be properly enjoyable, particularly the English version. The introduction is very exposition heavy, and the translation is very poor. For instance, at one point it says (Spoiler - click to show)"events that caused the death of your friend and merely killed you" when it means "nearly" killed you and at another (Spoiler - click to show)"people are the most numerous race" when it means humans (personhood is a whole different philosophical ballgame). There are also many subject/object/verb disagreements littered throughout the game.

I could forgive the poor translation if the gameplay were made more compelling. Like 80 Days, it has random encounters, and some of the possible storylines seem like they are well-plotted and would be absorbing if followed. But at almost every stop the player has to choose to run or hide with a random result - this would be much better paced if used more sparingly. There is an interesting mechanic where you can learn how to make useful items for your journey, but the inventory limit is so constrained that it simply doesn't allow for collecting the materials required. Where 80 Days' limit is similarly frustrating at times, it is based on trade, rather than crafting - a game with a crafting mechanic should give you space for obtaining materials. It is this latter issue that made me stop playing entirely, as it offered me a playstyle I liked and then put massive barriers up that prevented me from playing that way.

Save the Date, by Chris Cornell

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Saving the date is harder than it sounds., January 3, 2014
The phone rings. It's Felicia, calling to arrange your dinner date for tonight. But this is no ordinary dating sim, and it will be no ordinary date. Some sort of cosmic force/evil wizard/time-murderer/computer game designer wants your date to end in disaster.

Despite not really being a dating sim, I'd still describe this game as "cute". The writing is funny, with touches of surrealism and a few pop-culture references thrown in. The game seems bug-free, and the graphics are retro but effective. It's played in multiple small doses, though you will find playthroughs are interconnected, and each gives you more of a clue as to your aim, and how to achieve it. It's ultimately a form of Choose Your Own Adventure, but with enough branches to feel your choices matter each time. Well, sort of matter.

Talking too much about the game, however, runs the risk of ruining the experience, so I will put the rest of these thoughts into spoiler tags. (Spoiler - click to show)I played through the game several times, and found no good ending. I have a feeling that the only good ending is still bad for you, which made me find a surprising emotional and philosophical element to an otherwise straight-ahead funny game. Sometimes the best course of action is selflessness, and sometimes things are just not meant to be.


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