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Will Not Let Me Go

by Stephen Granade profile

Slice of life
2017

(based on 39 ratings)
6 member reviews

About the Story

Dallas, Texas. 1996. Fred Strickland has Alzheimer's.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Current Version: 1.0.0
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 67r2qc21m5nzexv1

Awards

Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Winner - Fred Strickland, Best Individual PC - 2017 XYZZY Awards

4th Place overall; 2nd Place, Miss Congeniality Award - 23rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2017)

17th Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition)

Editorial Reviews

Rock Paper Shotgun
Granade is an old hand at IF — he had already been writing for some years before I turned up on the interactive fiction scene in the late 90s — and much of his work touches on childhood, family, community, and different characters’ perspective on one another. Common Ground (1999) shows the same scenes from the perspective of several different family members, and Child’s Play (2006) is a parser puzzle game that is also a jokey riff on what it’s like to raise toddlers. Will Not Let Me Go carries forward some of the same themes — how do people understand each other, how do they adapt to each other in families and communities — but it’s the work of a more mature and experienced storyteller.
See the full review

Dhakajack
I have played a number of parser-based games by this author, but this is the first of his works in Twine that I have come across. If this is his first twine work, I would say that he hit the ground running, as the medium is well suited to this story.
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Doug's World
My opinion of this piece changed through the playing. Initially, I felt it was too linear. What does it say about Twine that even a game designer with as much experience as Granade can make the player feel as if they're just turning the pages of a book? But the story-telling is powerful enough that I stuck with it and by the mid-point I began to appreciate why Granade had chosen this medium.
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L'avventura è l'avventura
The way Stephen Granade used Twine is great: the words sometimes change because Fred struggles to remember, other words are cut … An extraordinary journey into memory, a wonderful work. If we really have to find a con, maybe some passages are too long, but Will Not Let Me Go is just short of a masterpiece.
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Catacalypto
Its mix of narrative voice and mechanics that support its story is exactly what I love in narrative design. From the opening indication that the story will remember your place, which fades out until only “remember” lingers, it’s a thoughtful and sometimes painful exploration of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(25)
4 star:
(11)
3 star:
(1)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(2)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 6
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
An emotional and masterfully-told story about alzheimer's, September 30, 2020
by bradleyswissman (Virginia, US)
Some interactive fiction works open up new, fantastic worlds filled with indescribable creatures and clever puzzles. Will Not Let Me Go does not do this. In this relatively short Twine story, you play, or rather, experience life, as an elderly man named Frank who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and incurable progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the memory. The setting and and pacing of this story are both mundane - unhurried snapshots of a life at home, in the office, and at a diner with lifelong friends - but the subject matter is more devastating than death. You forget names, faces, places, and people, and experience the frustrating consequences of your forgetfulness. The gradual loss of autonomy is nearly palpable. The comparative lack of choice that is typical to the Twine platform makes for an even more emotionally fraught experience. As the player, you have little choice other than to control your emotions - will you rage, or go quietly, as you slip further and further into that good night?

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Will not forget, September 21, 2020
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
One of the more emotional interactive fiction pieces I've played. The intro hits hard and the rest attempts to show us various snapshots of Fred's battle with Alzheimer's. The characters are drawn quite well; between my grandmother and my job I've been around many family systems going through the same thing and it all felt very real to me. Granade also does some interesting things with Twine that emphasize Fred's confusion.

I can't help but wonder if this could have been more powerful as a parser game. Take the scene where Fred (Spoiler - click to show)gets his wife some Tylenol. If I had more input than clicking hyperlinks I think an already heartbreaking scene would have ruined me. It would have forced me to take a more active role in fighting the unwinnable fight. As played it feels more like turning pages of a story.

The story jumps around quite a bit. For me it was a bit jarring and I think I would have enjoyed something more linear. But now I'm picking nits. Huge props to Granade for tackling this with earnestness and grace.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A masterpiece in Interactive Storytelling, October 24, 2017
by Marco Innocenti (Florence, Italy)
I guess it is always hard for an established author to enter a competition (the IFComp, especially, for several reasons). What will people expect from him/her? What SHOULD we?

It's things like this that... how do they say on Facebook? They "restore my faith in humanity".

Will not let me go is an EMOTIONAL piece, of the kind that didn't resonate with me this much since Photopia --- we all know what I'm talking about.

I don't want to enter into details and dissect this, well, masterpiece, as I don't think I have the right to. I just want to say that this is a Twine game that EXACTLY does what a Twine should do every time: tell a story no regular text-book could.

The way the words change to address a memory problem; the way the game (which is fairly long, all considered) aids us in understanding how long it will be still; the AWESOME, INTERIORIZED, MOVING story it tells. And all of this in such a fantastic, unique and PROFOUND way. This is the craft of a Writer, with the capitalized W.

What to say. Einstein once said that intuition is the best skill of any scientist. I may add that knowing how to f*****g tell a story is probably the second best.

Stephen is a scientist. After this... thing he did, I may very well say he's the Einstein of Interactive Fiction.

See All 6 Member Reviews

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Recommended Lists

Will Not Let Me Go appears in the following Recommended Lists:

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Will Not Let Me Go:

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

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

IF about human beings by namekuseijin
I'm looking for IF about human beings and human struggles in a more or less common setting. No zombies, vampires, orcs, demons, robots, slimy aliens, gods or monsters of any kind; just plain human beings please. Yes, I know many works...

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This is version 7 of this page, edited by CMG on 16 November 2017 at 2:45pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item