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Feu de Joie (Session 2): Good War

by Alan DeNiro profile

Episode 2 of Feu de Joie
epistolary
2015

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Resplendent with petrichor from the bog, May 16, 2015
by Andrew Watt (Los Angeles, California)
Literate, unnerving, and well-crafted, Feu de Joie has a good thing going. This episode dials up the creepiness, aided by sound effects in a key moment, and drops more hints about the bigger picture. The series’ visuals continue to impress me. While many writers try to bury Twine’s most familiar story format with code, Alan DeNiro keeps the bones and puts new flesh on them, resulting in a funky, distinctive look.

There’s a major fork in this episode worth noting. One path follows a Dunsany war tale and the other reintroduces the mysterious voice from episode one (denoted by changes to background and type). (Spoiler - click to show)The voice belongs to a guardian angel of sorts, who hints at vague danger and provides a password that might keep you (the Tester? See below) safe. I enjoyed both, but the second branch seems more critical to the overarching narrative than the first.

My gripe is that I'm not sure how I relate to the Tester. So far, the series has primarily been a reading experience (as opposed to playing), but at one point in this episode I definitely felt like a player character. I’m intrigued but confused: did I make a choice on behalf of the Tester, or did he choose his own answer to the same question before I came along?

Closing thoughts: I like this series. You should play it. Also, are the folks at BUCOLIC ehf. really just "four friends in Iceland?" I think not, but that detail amuses me.

CONSPIRACY CORNER: Dunsany’s short story “Carcassonne” has been referenced in both episodes. It concerns a foolish ruler who enlists his entire kingdom to search for a legendary city (they don’t find it). On a related note, the Tester is referred to as “Mr.Aguirre.” You may recall a real-life Aguirre who, like the king in "Carcassonne," had a bad time searching for a legendary city…