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The Master of the Land

by Pseudavid profile

Fantasy
2018

Web Site

(based on 11 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

> An interactive fiction intrigue in an immersive and dynamic world.

A world that changes with every action. Freedom to explore. Radically different playthroughs. Lots of dancing. People wearing skulls.

> A rich story with multiple plots

A historical fantasy set in the early 19th century Mediterranean, The Master of the Land deals with power and paranoia in an age of counter-revolutionary reaction: the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. During a carnival, dancers dance, politicians conspire and a crying ghost haunts the whole place. The protagonist, Irene, is fascinated and appalled at the same time by everything happening around her.

> A narrative experiment with a dynamic setting

Text is mixed and combined to show a changing place, with many characters moving around, weather, different events -balls, dinners, ceremonies- and interlocking storylines. With more than 80 thousand words and more than ten major plots, each playthrough shows only a fraction of the possibilities.

> The game is not intended to be won

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Current Version: 1.6
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: fguprb9bwjxo4gu4

Awards

6th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)

Editorial Reviews

McT's Interactive Fiction Reviews

Iíve never seen anything quite like this. It really takes choice based implementations to that next level. It creates a seemingly dynamic world, gives the player complete agency within that world and then says Ďgoí. It is an important game, this.
See the full review

Heterogeneous Tasks

This is an odd and audacious thing. There is a great deal going on here; itís a story about the personal and the political, about the failures of liberal politics. I like a lot of the things itís aiming for, and sometimes it hits them. At the same time, itís got its share of problems.
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The Breakfast Review
Rather intriguingly, the game is set up with a freely explorable map and a choice interface. With so much going on, we never go far before finding something to catch our interest as we explore. It's really quite fascinating and immersive.
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IFcomprehensive

The player has much more freedom than in most choice-based games, and the world is more believable as a result; playing the game truly feels like interacting with an environment, rather than walking along a decision tree. The options at a given location depend on the characterís quests, the in-game time, and the characters around the ball. The game is filled with meaningful interactivity, yet the choices available are always clear and well-defined.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(2)
4 star:
(6)
3 star:
(3)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A masterful fantasy game with a unique interaction style, December 12, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
Twine games often fall into two traps: branching too much (so that playthroughs are short and miss almost all content) or branching too little (so that players feel frustrated, as if their choices don't matter). Games with strong writing can make up for this (like Myriad or Polish the Glass), but it's definitely a big problem for this system.

Pseudavid sidesteps this problem neatly by using a unique form of interaction. The player is put into a physical space and allowed to navigate while multiple storylines unfold simultaneously.

The game, then, becomes about being in the right place at the right time. It gives you a real sense of a bigger world, of life and vitality.

I suggest playing this game multiple times to see the different storylines.

The one thing that I had trouble with was, even when I knew exactly what I wanted to do and had some ideas about how to do it, I had trouble carrying it out.

(Note: I helped beta test this game.)

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This is version 10 of this page, edited by Pseudavid on 22 December 2018 at 5:25am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item