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Number of Ratings: 28
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- bradleyswissman (Virginia, US), September 12, 2020

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A really impressive game, April 5, 2020
Using simple tricks (a round for symbolizing a step, a bunch of pictures), Summit builds a fantasy world, which seems first a bit too various but becomes more and more consistent while the story walks. The simple desire to see the famous summit leads you to a true thinking on the meaning of your life or the value of your choices, but this thoughts are conveyed throught live feelings rather than arid speeches. So this is really the kind of game you wants to play again...

- Bartlebooth, January 11, 2020

- lavieenmeow, September 27, 2019

- Nathaniel, April 4, 2018

- Hazel-Rah, July 11, 2017

- ly2000, June 3, 2017

- Onirim (Argentina), January 3, 2017

- Zepphod, January 3, 2017

- lookmark, December 16, 2016

- LayzaSkully (Italy), November 12, 2016

- Oreolek (Kemerovo, Russia), November 4, 2016

- gobbldygook, August 30, 2016

- Squidi, August 17, 2016

- The Xenographer, August 12, 2016

- Doug Orleans (Somerville, MA, USA), May 19, 2016

- Pegbiter (Malmö, Sweden), May 4, 2016

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A very long surreal Twine game about identity, purpose, and journey, February 3, 2016
This excellent IFComp 2015 game is a bizarre, surreal journey. You choose one of several 'origin stories' in a sense; for instance, once my father carved miniature cathedrals that played music, and once I lived in the swamp and sold frog skin.

The game consists of a journey towards a distant summit. You reach many places in between, in almost a surreal(er) Gulliver's Travels.

As you travel, you deal with an odd thing called a fishstomach, whose details I leave to the game.

Overall, I found the game emotionally satisfying, especially near the end. Well-chosen graphics help the game.

Occasional profanity and some body horror, but milder than Porpentine's games in general.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Have a fish, November 25, 2015
by CMG (NYC)
Fishstomachs. For this concept alone, Summit would have my praise.

The story here is universal. You play as a character dissatisfied with many things. You can see in the distance, both metaphorically and physically, a summit. Climbing this summit might erase your problems. Therefore you set out to climb it.

The game is episodic. You're waylaid beside the road, in cities, in towns, you meet people, you part from them, years pass, and still you are trying to reach the summit. The world is unusual and alien, yet familiar. One sequence involves attending a pseudo-religious function where the participants convulse on the floor after ingesting nano-machines. This echoes our world directly. Just remove the nano-machines.

Fishstomachs are extra stomachs that everyone in this game has, and that are filled with living fish. The fishstomachs eject the fish, the characters eat the fish, and then the fish eat through the characters' normal stomachs to nibble at their internal organs before the fish die and decompose. Eating a fish and having your organs nibbled is an ecstatic experience like taking a potent drug. Everyone is dependent on eating fish, but not like drug addicts are dependent on drugs. You need to eat the fish to stay alive. There's no rehabilitation possible. If you don't tend your fish, your fishstomach will erupt and kill you. If you do keep eating fish, eventually that will kill you too, once they nibble your organs enough and their fishrot infuses your body.

This is a thoroughly nightmarish concept to me. I'm averse to most seafood anyway, but having fish swimming in your body, nibbling your organs, rotting away into toxic slime? Phantom Williams has created a potent metaphor with this fishstomach business. It's not a metaphor for anything in particular. Like the game's summit, it's universal. It resonates on many different levels.

And you totally understand why the protagonist would want to reach the summit and have all their problems wiped away, including their fishstomach.

One curious feature of this game is that "you" is not really "you." Sometimes "I" takes over when "you" gets too tired, and the game addresses this, proclaiming that the "you" in most text games is actually narcissism masked as empathy.

It's interesting, but I don't entirely agree. Although there's some truth here, the "you" in a text game is no more narcissistic than the "she" or "he" in a novel. No matter the narrative viewpoint, the player/reader is always consuming the material, absorbing it to change or reinforce their own perspectives about the world. Whatever pronouns are being used, everything is another fish going down the gullet.

Comparisons to Porpentine will be made, with reason. Summit seems to have studied Porpentine's work for inspiration. But this game stands on its own.

It has a soundtrack that you shouldn't miss.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A surreal adventure, and metaphors about life, November 22, 2015
Summit takes you on a surreal, dreamlike journey. You play as someone who is unsatisfied with their placein life, and goes on a journey toward an unreachable summit. There is a legend that if you are able to reach the top of the peak, you can attain anything -- including immortality. But no matter how far you travel, you never seem to get any closer to your goal.

Instead, you spend some time traveling through various strange lands, meeting various strange people, and you have the option to stay and enrich the lives of those people, and have them enrich yours, or to move on with your journey.

Summit is full of symbolism, the most obvious and unique of which is the idea of the "fish stomach." Essentially, everyone in this world has a stomach full of live fish. If you vomit up a fish and eat it, the result is ecstatic, possibly orgasmic -- but the fish will travel through your body, nibbling at your organs, and eventually kill you. On the other hand, if you abstain from eating the fish, your fishstomach will eventually burst and you will die of fish rot.

As a metaphor, this really worked for me. It seems like a memory for nothing less than life itself. No matter what you do, you will eventually die. But you can hasten that death, or ward it off, and sometimes avoiding death also means missing out on life. So like the decision of eating a fish in Summit, life is often about finding that balance between risk and safety, indulgence and restraint. And I thought the fish thing was such an incredibly evocative way to portray that, with enough nuance to avoid bashing you over the head with themes.

And of course, the "life" metaphor is woven through other things, as well, like the aspirational nature of the summit, that nagging dissatisfaction you feel when you should be content, the way you give up on good things when you're searching for something better that you may never find.

Playing this when I did, it definitely resonated with me on a personal level. I will say it felt like it ran on a little long; not that the game itself needs to be shorter, but that it's probably better digested in smaller chunks rather than tackled all at once. But for an otherwise incredibly evocative game, that's a pretty small complaint.

- E.K., November 18, 2015

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A surreal and beautiful journey, November 17, 2015
by Ade Mct (Yorkshire Dales, UK)
Far too many reviews have compared Summit to Porpentine's work. I don't see it. I see the intertextuality - the progression of the art form via Porpentine's experimentation - but there is where it ends for me. Summit stands on its own elegant and wistful feet as a considerable work of art.

Summit is a meditative, beautiful and extraordinarily imaginative text. The player is journeying toward an elusive mountain that seems ever unattainable - passing through cities and villages and crumbling ancient libraries. I played it to many endings, and I still don't think I have seen everything there is to see.

It was one of my favorite games of IF comp 2015.

Of all the astonishing imagery Summit has to offer, it is the concept of the fish-stomach that is most compelling. The people in the world of Summit have a stomach in which swim fish that must be eaten from time to time. If the fish are not eaten, it causes death, if they are, they nibble away at internal organs and will cause death. At the Summit is the myth of freedom from the tyranny of the fish-stomachs.

As an extended metaphor, I struggled with this. It is hard to assign a concrete meaning. As in any quest, it is the journey that matters. The fish-stomach, a crushing addiction/obligation - can you live with it even if the life you have isn't everything you had hoped? Or do you journey ever on, knowing that just around the corner might be your cure.

This beautifully presented multi-media dreamscape. Very very highly recommended.

- dream, November 16, 2015

- Sobol (Russia), November 13, 2015

- SallyChamp, November 12, 2015

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