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About the StoryAll these years later and I still think about you.
A game about memory and middle school.
50th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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The story is about Michael, a lonely, shy gay man, recalling his first junior high crush - ten years ago - on a straight boy, Billy. He reflects on the intensity of his feelings for Billy, the things he did to impress Billy, the poetry he wrote for Billy, Billy's smile. He wonders what would have happened if he had ever confessed his feelings for Billy.
So, they're both adults now, and Michael decides to go visit Billy and tell him about the crush that he had all those years ago. Michael seems to want closure or acknowledgement - or maybe he just wants to prove to himself that he's a braver man than he was back then.
A story like this could come across as maudlin, but Time Passed did not feel that way to me: The continual self-reflection and raw honesty of the prose save it from that. In fact, Time Passed has my favorite writing out of all the IFComp 2018 games.
There's only one real choice that I can tell. It's (Spoiler - click to show)not Michael's but Billy's, actually. As the player, you get to choose whether Billy claims to remember Michael. Remembering Michael is the more interesting of the two options and spools the story out longer.
The ending text for the longer of the two options captures the self-reflection and raw honesty I mentioned earlier:
(Spoiler - click to show)"On the walk back to my parents' place I try to keep my thoughts blank, but soon enough one comes to me anyways: I wish I'd told you earlier. But of course I don't. If I had, if you had kissed me in our youth and dissolved my pain, so many things in my life would not be where they are now, and I'm happy now. I'm in a good place. I wouldn't want that to change.
"Then I scold myself. I don't have to think about the sequence of events. I can wish you'd kissed me and want to keep my life the way it is. I'm allowed to have uncomplicated regret. Aren't I?
I really resonated with Time Passed. It reminded me of unrequited love, the times I said something, the times I didn't, the times I wondered whether I should have said something, the times I second- and third-guessed myself. It even reminded me of the times when I've had someone confess love to me and I had no idea they felt that way, leaving me wondering "How do I respond to this?"
Even decisions that aren't about romance - that job I might have taken, or that chance I had to move to that city. We all do this kind of thinking back and wondering "What if...?"
A short, awkward, raw, and poignant piece of IF.
A short, intense twine game about a relationship over time, June 1, 2019
Otherwise, this is an emotional short story about a school crush and a chance to meet them after many years, one complicated by gender preferences.
Itís hard to go into more detail, because thereís just not that much there.
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PollsThe following polls include votes for Time Passed:
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Writing of 2018 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...
This is version 2 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 23 November 2018 at 2:43pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item