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Elegy of the Deadscape, Chapter I

by Rafael Arenhart

Fantasy-Horror
2013

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- dream, April 15, 2016

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Nostalgic derivative fantasy CYOA, December 7, 2013
by streever (America)
This short CYOA had a few grammatical problems and typos, and a very derivative fantasy plot element--think Gunslinger meets Tolkien.

The actual game is more fun than the sum of it's parts. While there were any number of elements to criticize, I enjoyed this game. Perhaps it was nostalgia for the classic CYOA games I grew up with (full of insta-death and familiar plot elements), but I found myself invested in seeing this story through, and played the entire game, including many undos.

This is a very linear game, much like classic CYOAs, and you won't feel stuck at any point. If something doesn't work, you simply hit the back button and try one of the other options. The fun here is not in getting it right, but in figuring out how the path is crafted.

I suspect this game won't be for everyone. If you played the gamebooks of the 70s and 80s, you might enjoy what feels like a walk down memory lane. Plot-wise this is a post-apocalyptic tale of magic and fantasy gone amok (elves, mages, kings, and orcs are referenced) with a player character who seems like a pastiche of the strong, quiet man.

As an homage/pastiche of classic CYOAs, it works for anyone with a little free time and nostalgia. The weakness of this as a work of IF however lies in the generic world-building. The amount of detail and description about a relatively familiar post-apocalyptic fantasy world could be seriously pared down and suggested more than spelled out.

What I'd be interested in is knowing more about who I am and how I fit into this world. I didn't get a sense for my identity, or what my long-term goals are. Obviously survival is paramount, but what keeps me going? A moral code? A sense of responsibility? Self-interest? I couldn't glean much of my interests and objectives.

This was a fun game, with some good writing for a genre piece. I'd be interested in seeing if the author edits or modifies this. I think it is a first effort, and for that it gets some applause; it is very hard to release your first IF piece to the world (I certainly won't!), and I hope the author continues working with text.


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