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American Angst

by m3g1dd0 profile

Horror
2017

Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

Imagine a horror novel where you get to make the choices and decide how the story plays out: Welcome to American Angst, a text-based multiple-choice survival horror interactive fiction, combining RPG elements and turn-based combat with dark humor and biting satire.

You wake up in pitch black darkness. You know not where you are. You know not who you are. And they’re trying to kill you...

A choice-based game slash novel, you try to escape from an underground prison complex – all the while suffering from amnesia, fighting off guards seeking your death, and slowly unravelling the mystery that brought you to this place, as you traverse the thin line between survival and revenge…

IMHO the Android version is the best experience of the game :)

- Five distinct endings plus variations: Even minor decisions impact the narrative
- Replay value: The full story unfolds through the different endings
- Monitor your stats: Health, panic status, inventory, weapons, ...
- Turn-based Combat System
- Autosave and Checkpoints
- Text-based, no graphics or sound effects: Your imagination is your best friend and worst enemy
- Warning: Graphic Violence, Explicit Language, Dark Humor, Gore
- 70k words
- Approx. 45 - 60 minutes of estimated play time (depending on your pace and choices you make)

Game Details

Language: English (en-US)
First Publication Date: October 26, 2017
Current Version: 1.0.2
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
Forgiveness Rating: Tough
IFIDs:  848411BF-B036-4B7C-8501-C792650F65A6
298ABCFC-8159-4FA5-8BCB-38E9907DF8A7
TUID: 2fbzd1xf2x18r7y8

Awards

Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story - 2017 XYZZY Awards

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Member Reviews

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4 star:
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2 star:
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1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Unsatisfying, May 29, 2018
You win American Angst by winning fights. But the fights are just grinds: keep clicking the "hit" button until you randomly win or lose. If you lose, you'll have to go back to the last checkpoint, click through to the combat, and try your luck again. Eventually, you'll succeed.

But the result of this is that none of the combat options mean anything. There's no puzzle, no risk/reward tradeoff, no meaningful tactical situation. Once you grind through the combat, the game runs on rails, with a few arbitrary "left or right?" choices and a few "how brutal do you want to be?" choices.

As for the story, it's an amnesia game, which means that we know nothing about the player character. As a result, it's difficult to care about this character, even when the "surprise twist" is revealed. There are several endings, apparently selected at random based on earlier choices, including one where the bad guy inexplicably explains everything, with hundreds of words of non-interactive exposition, and then (Spoiler - click to show)kills you.

This game was nominated for XYZZY awards for Best Game, Best Writing, and Best Story. I don't see it.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
An ambitious amnesia horror RPG with some rough edges, April 21, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game was not what I expected. With warnings about graphic violence and explicit language, the title 'American Angst', and the logo of an American flag-colored smily face, I expected something like a mix between 'The Purge' and 'Saw' and anti-Donald Trump revenge horror.

I got something else instead, and was pleasantly surprised. This game is an amnesia-based horror game that tells the story passively through set pieces, until the end when all is revealed.

It uses extensive styling, with special 'emphasis' boxes, an 8-bit looking battle interface, and special designs for links and devices. Profanity occurs about once or twice a screen, but my chrome extension blocked it easily.

The game saves automatically, and takes you back to checkpoints if you die.

I found the story compelling, and was surprised by the ending(s).

The game has rough patches, though. The credits don't list a single tester, and it shows. There are several mis-spellings (such as the word 'matrace' for mattress) and small grammatical errors (like 'the flashlight doubles for a nighstick' instead of 'doubles as').

Similarly, there are many game elements which should improve interactivity but end up not doing much. There is a panic stat which doesn't seem to do much besides letting you choose between having a panic attack or not. The battles are more random than strategy based. And choices aren't informed, some literally being 'left or right?' with no other information, making it feel like you don't have control.

Having had this game tested would have caught some of these issues. As it is, though, this is a well-done game and one of the best Twine games of 2017.

If you enjoyed American Angst...

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Polls

The following polls include votes for American Angst:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Implementation of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best Implementation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible individual NPCs of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual NPC in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Writing of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here...

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This is version 10 of this page, edited by CMG on 29 May 2018 at 1:26pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item