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About the StoryIf you inherited a ring and discovered that it made invisible portals turn visible, would you walk through? Yulia would.
Tiny exploration of a portal concept, with multiple endings. Originally written for a challenge on Twinery.org: no more than 15 passages, and no more than 1000 words.
Portal concept is from a collaborative writing project that can be found at Shared Epic.
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Inheritance draws on what is now surely a familiar concept of portals to other worlds. These other worlds, however, are never anything more than sketched out, and encounters with NPCs feel like a fever dream… or perhaps just a little transparently like an NPC encounter. They have exactly one message to impart, not that Yulia can actually interact with them, and then she’s off.
Yulia can only agree or disagree with NPCs, and/or move somewhere else. In this game, she is forever running away from something. Yet, without a clear story direction, exploration becomes a thing to do to find an ending instead of being intrinsically motivated. Being able to see portals merely expands the story map, instead of being a tool for achieving some goal.
Inheritance is prettily styled, though one might wonder if this formatting could have been put to more intentional use. One of the many other games which plays with the idea of portals is Invisible Parties by Sam Kabo Ashwell, which brings out the idea of worlds being tangled and messy, with consequences which matter to the PC, a bit more than Inheritance does.
Still, I love playing Inheritance. Though the premise is straightforward, I've played through it about four times now, and each time I still experience a feeling of wonder and surprise—I have turned up a few more surprises even after I thought I exhausted the choices available to me and visited all the portals.
The writing is spare but incredibly evocative, which suits the story very well, as there's urgency underlying the story—Yulia is driven through one portal after another and only snatches at quick glimpses of her surroundings.
An incredibly delightful and speculative game!
If you enjoyed Inheritance...
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