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Turandot

by Victor Gijsbers profile

Romance
2019

(based on 13 ratings)
3 member reviews

About the Story

An operatic performance. A tale of atonement. A dating sim with a crocodile pit.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Current Version: 1.00
License: Freeware
Development System: ChoiceScript
IFID: Unknown
TUID: pp79m7ef4ekwa60r

Awards

2nd Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(7)
4 star:
(5)
3 star:
(1)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An erotic self-aware retelling of Turandot, October 6, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
Reviews serve many purposes. Helping authors feel noticed; providing feedback for future games; monologuing; and helping players decide what to play and not.

In the interest of the latter, this game is overtly sexual in a crass way. I abandoned it once, and only persevered when told that the large middle portion contains very little of that nature.

Aside from that, Gijsbers has used all of his excellent storytelling powers in crafting this game.

It takes Puccini's Turandot, a story that is very problematic in and of itself. I'm in the camp that believes that Puccini had built up something he couldn't finish: there was no reasonable way to finish the story or the music that could mesh well with what went before. There's no realistic resolution whatsoever.

This game takes that on head-first. The player traverses death and destruction in pursuit of the princess, but there's a sort of in-game fourth-wall-breaking (third-wall breaking?) where everyone comments on the ridiculousness of it. It's all just a joke.

But is it? (Spoiler - click to show)The player's obsession is never really explained. And the neat wrapping up of 'none of the people' actually died ignores the friend. The murder of the guard is glossed over. These huge plot holes are explained away by the overall self-critical nature of the game.

I've noticed that every writing community has it's own views on what is 'great'. I made a chart once displaying where each community lies on the scale of 'earnestness' vs and 'originality' vs 'canon' in their judging. Creepypasta and Battle for Wesnoth both have extreme earnestness in their writing, while IFComp tends to value self-awareness. This game is far in the self-awareness area, almost a parody of self-awareness.

The choice structure is essentially all fake choices. There may be some actual state tracked, but I don't think it necessarily improves the game if that's true. For instance, I chose to (Spoiler - click to show)let the crocodile kill me and the game explained it away, again, in a very self-aware manner.

This game achieves everything it set out to do. I would say it was one of my favorites except that the feelings of shame I get reading erotic works doesn't go well with the pure enjoyment I have from text games. I believe it will do very well in the competition, possibly the top three, unless other voters have concerns about the content as well.

All in all, Victor Gijsbers started out as a good author, and its clear he's only improving with time. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
One of the funniest games ever, followed by one of the most serious, November 19, 2019
There’s more than one game inside Turandot. Two at the very minimum. Putting two very different things together is risky: the contrast may illuminate both parts and create a satisfactory emotional evolution; or both elements can fight each other and turn out too frustrating.

Turandot starts like a wild comedy, oscillating between wacky videogame humour (with reflective choices of different insults) and some black, brutal jokes. It ends like a philosophical conversation about moral choices. It transitions from lightness to seriousness on a very tight rope: the first serious long conversation happens (Spoiler - click to show)with the player hanging over a crocodile pit, in a joke that reminded me of Monkey Island. Then it gets more serious. At some times it feels more like a statement than a story to me. It certainly feels like a different game, one that provokes contradictory thoughts and impressions.

But it's one of he best-written and best-designed games I remember from any recent comp! It does interesting things with the choices, like the false choices with only different wording but identical result. It manages to make the game feel less linear. The jokes land effortlessly, dialogues flow, the characters are vivid.

The first part was my favourite game in IFcomp 19. The second part will require more effort to wrap my head around it, and I will certainly play again.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Good, October 4, 2019
Fairly long. The game was a little raunchy, but it was also enjoyable and humorous, and it featured a unique story. There was a time in the story when the dialogue felt overly melodramatic.

If you enjoyed Turandot...

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Recommended Lists

Turandot appears in the following Recommended Lists:

IFDB Top 100 by Pegbiter
An automatically updated list utilizing an IMDb style Bayes estimator to calculate weighted ratings based on all IFDB ratings. Questions and comments can be placed here....

Polls

The following polls include votes for Turandot:

Best Choicescript games by MathBrush
I've only played a few choicescript games, but I loved Creatures Such as We, The Race, and Scarlet Sails. What can you recommend?

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Victor Gijsbers on 18 November 2019 at 5:53am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item