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Myriad

by Porpentine profile

Depression
2012

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(2)
4 star:
(10)
3 star:
(6)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(3)
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Number of Reviews: 6
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1-6 of 6


A branching, surreal narrative about an anthropology class, February 3, 2016
Myriad is classic Porpentine, though overshadowed by her later work. Bizarre, surreal scenes filled with bodily fluids, strong profanity, gender references, and insectoids.

The game is clever and daring. However, playing it right after IFComp 2015 gave me a new perspective on Porpentine. I had thought that the emotional effectiveness of many of her pieces DEPENDED on the disgusting, gritty, profaneness of it all.

But I feel like Summit achieved a similar effect with a more subdued approach. Birdland gives a compelling portrait of LGBTQ life. I feel like the Twine world is developing in new directions now.

(Note that Howling Dogs, while it's a few years old now, also manages to be incredibly compelling while differing strongly from her ealier work).

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
I tried to enjoy it, January 29, 2014
by namekuseijin (anywhere but home)
I tried really hard, because at least this one feels a bit like a traditional CYOA. But then, the prose consists of nothing but foul mouth ramblings against a clichéd student's life, boring and poor.

You want far better and more interesting college (real) games? Try Ditch Day Drifter or Kissing the Buddha's Feet.

yeah, they are most likely not like college real life. Probably because real life sucks and is very uninteresting for a game. Who wants to play (or read) a depressive ranting about how college life is so boring and sucks so much?!

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Perplexing, with beautiful moments, September 7, 2012
Disclaimer : This is no interactive fiction in the usual sense, especially if you're expecting a parser. There be hyperlinks - yet it is essentially not a bad thing.
Myriad is something more akin to "nonlinear fiction", spreading from an origin like a concept map rather than a single story or even a set of alternate stories within a single background. And just as in a concept map, the links may be loose, and they may differ a lot in nature, so that simple hyperlinks are perhaps best suited for this task.

It is certainly neither the first nor the last work in that genre to rely on bits of dream logic and evocative imagery, so it is not the most original in its originality.
Yet I felt it was remarkably effective at depicting wildly different moods, from crudeness and baseness that could easily be off-putting at first* to snarkiness and tongue-in-cheek humor, to real moments of grace.

*(I am quite happy that I did not begin by taking a shower, else I might have believed the less positive reviews and stopped reading right there)

It is mostly due to these moments that I felt the need to come here and review this game, as there are passages of that kind of poetry that is unique to partially-interactive fiction, when you feel a metaphor unfold along your exploratory moves, despite not knowing exactly how (difficult not to think of The Space Under the Window in that respect).

The use of hyperlinks was sometimes a bit random (although it does convey the uncanny feeling of reminiscence, that of only a few, sometimes unimportant, sensations creating an association in the midst of many others) yet at other times it was remarkably ingenious, or even downright funny.
(Spoiler - click to show)THE DEAD ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE.

In the end, Myriad is more oneiric than most works in its category, as it is closer to the actual experience of dreaming - not strange sequences of events with leitmotivs a la Lynch, but more like shards of different realities competing for your attention, each having you convinced at one time that you're finally in the real one, but never fitting together as a linear narrative.

Or, I don't know, maybe I liked it for emotional rather than intellectual reasons, and I felt that people could benefit from knowing that it is good. I would not spend all day reading this kind of fiction, yet this one is definitely worth it.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An HTML fever-dream, August 13, 2012
by Hanon Ondricek (United States)
This is CYOA where you click on keywords. Usually there are two or three choices per page, and there are lots of branches, and lots of endings that happen unexpectedly. There's not a whole lot of through line to the plot as it meanders on a trippy, poetic tangent. I played about four times, and was surprised that what I thought would be the length of the story branched out somewhere totally new and continued. You won't be engaging any sort of problem solving or rational progression muscle. What happens next is usually random and is based little on the wisdom of your choices, but this is definitely worth a read or two if you like some fervently written prose in a psychedelic fantasy-horror vein.

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Expletive-spiced nonsense, August 7, 2012
by Ray
A game representative of adolescent fiction - full of anger and expletives, apparently trying to convey some artsy-fartsy gloomy-shadowy emotional anguish while sacrificing a consistent storyline. I suspect it would be highly possible (but just as pointless) to procedurally generate this sort of crap.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
More Branches Than a Shrub, August 7, 2012
Myriad steps towards the kind of branching story I always wanted to read: to hell with merging nodes, I want full bifurcation, 24/7; and Porpentine obviously also heard the sirens of unreasonable work-load calling and dove into the pools of unending possibilities and dragged out this strangle-weeded narrative, a pocket of infinities. The quality is high, mostly consistently so; for most of it I was thinking 'Yeah, this is pretty good, I can see what she's doing here, blah blah, blah,' but then I played the scorpion queen section, which borders on being a puzzle, and it was okay; BUT THEN, then afterwards the denouement hit me like the well crafted metaphor that it was and I felt compelled to give it a write up pronto-like.

[So uh, don't waste time not reading Myriad when you could be reading Myriad. For me, (and I love-hate star ratings) this would have been a five star experience if my jaw hadn't taken four play-throughs to drop.]


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