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About the StoryYou're a suburban teen, sick of the suburbs. You run away to the land of the fairies, prepared for thrills and danger. Absolutely nothing happens the way you expect.
A short Twine game with nine endings, originally commissioned for Now Play This 2016.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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There's a sort of contradiction in choice-based puzzleless IF. On one hand, linearity is usually considered a drawback; most players want to feel that their choices really matter and substantially affect what happens, want the game to be truly interactive. On the other hand, in a significantly branching story the player will only see a small part of what's written by the author, can easily miss the best bits; the ratio of the player's enjoyment to the author's labor is low.
It would be great to make the players restart the game and explore all the various plot paths; but motivating them to replay many times and read different variations of the same story requires some serious stimulation.
In the games by S. Woodson - this one, ♥Magical Makover♥ and Beautiful Dreamer - different story branches entwine and interact with each other to form a kind of higher unity; some paths throw light on enigmatic elements of the other paths, make you see your previous game sessions in a new way - and even revisit them because, as it turns out, you didn't pay proper attention to something curious. They are all different elements of the same picture, and you want to see the picture whole.
(Narcolepsy by Adam Cadre utilized the same idea, though less effectively: the crazy guy in the university plaza always gives you hints referring to other storylines.)
In both ♥Magical Makover♥ and Beautiful Dreamer, there's one "main" branch - the one which is central to the picture and which the player is most likely to find first.
In ♥Magical Makover♥, it's the one featured on the cover art - the only one where the protagonist's initial goal is reached. If, say, the player tries three different random products on their first playthrough, they get this branch with the probability of 60%.
In Beautiful Dreamer, it's talking to Cephiros about the moth - which has the highest priority among all the topics the protagonist may discover.
Get Lost!, which is much smaller than the former two games, lacks the "main" branch: all the paths are of equal importance.
Like Beware the Faerie Food You Eat, Get Lost! is a riff on fairy-related tropes, but where BtFFYE is grim, Get Lost! is a merry romp through encounters with jaded, ill-tempered fae. The protagonist's idealistic conceptions of the fae, combined with a comprehensive knowledge of folklore, is quickly frustrated by the ironically mundane nature of the fae themselves.
Woodson's writing sparkles with life, and the broadly branching game structure makes replay richly rewarding. This game is quite short - it took me about 15 minutes to play it through once - so it should make for excellent lunchtime play.
The game has a variety of branches, picking from 2 sets of three big options and many smaller ones.
The game is very successful at creating and maintaining a wistful, deep atmosphere.
S. Woodson is a talented author, and it comes out in this brief game.
If you enjoyed Get Lost!...
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|Beware The Faerie Food You Eat, by Astrid Dalmady|
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They say that some of the faerie folk can grant wishes, that they can give gifts to that who gain their favor. Now, youíve found a portal into their world and youíre ready to step through and claim that prize. But you donít come...
|A Study in Steampunk: Choice by Gaslight, by Heather Albano|
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|The Queen's Menagerie, by Chandler Groover|
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These beasts won't feed themselves. A puzzleless exhibition. Ten to fifteen minutes.
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For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible individual NPCs of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 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 individual PCs of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual PC 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 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 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...
This is version 2 of this page, edited by S. Woodson on 10 April 2016 at 2:07pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item