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About the StoryA weird tale. Some parts make use of sound, so this game is best played with headphones. One ending.
"Two Pieces of Interactive Fiction Which I Love"
"This first piece is very recent and is basically a short story about a family in which the father, one day, goes down into the dirt-floor basement with a brand-new shovel and he begins to dig…and dig…and dig. And he won’t stop digging. The story goes on from there in a brilliant piece of creepy, riveting writing that I would have adored had I come across it in a book. It’s well-told and very, very sharp. I can’t convey that strongly enough."
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My Father's Long, Long Legs
"Michael Lutz's piece of Twine-crafted interactive fiction horror piece My Father's Long, Long Legs might just be one of the finest, most cleverly executed pieces of freaky fiction I've ever read. Best enjoyed with the lights out and the sound up (and headphones on, if you're rockin' 'em), it tells the story of a girl whose father one day suddenly comes home from work and begins digging a hole in the dirt-floored basement of their house. Day after day he spends every free moment down there, coming up only to eat, use the bathroom, and work... and once his factory closes, he stops coming up at all."
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
My Father’s Long, Long Legs
"My Father’s Long, Long Legs is a deeply creepy Twine game, a horror story centered on an unusual and startling premise. The structure seems linear at first: often in the early stages there is only one link forward, or there are multiple links but they control only the order in which you will read the same text. Later, things branch more, but in a way that still never gives the player a sense of strong agency. The experience is instead always of being drawn onward to explore even though there’s the strongest sense that you won’t like what you’re going to find. There’s no chance that you’re going to be able to control what that something is."
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Number of Reviews: 9
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
The narrative is strong, and very creepy, and the technical capabilities of Twine are well-used here to give a sense of exploration and terror. Through text, sound, and limited sight, fear slowly creeps up on the player, and you may find yourself more in the perspective of the narrator than in a graphical video game.
The side stories and anecdotes shared throughout are well-done and plotted well. Although the story has only one ending, the possibilities suggested by that ending are complex, provoking speculation as to deeper meaning and intent.
However, as an example of interactive fiction, I found this text to be lacking. Although the reader is presented with a few choices, the story is overwhelmingly linear, with minimal replay-ability, something intrinsic to interactive fiction/hypertext fiction. I am not sure how more interactivity could have been worked in, which leads me to believe that perhaps this would have functioned better as short fiction rather than IF. Despite these shortcomings, I still found the reading experience enjoyable.
(Spoiler - click to show)especially given the lack of a conclusive ending. The writing occasionally feels a bit lacklustre, but when it is good, it is very good. The concept is excellent and uncanny.
As a Twine creation, I'm in two minds about it. Visually, it's very good. The grayscale background is a subtle, superb touch: representing the dwindling light falling into the father's basement; brightening or darkening depending on the events of the story. However, once the novelty wore off, I ended up feeling that the Twine format was a gimmick. The story is static; the vast majority of segments only have one link to click to get to the next one. The narration didn't even use the simple trick of second person to give the reader a sense of agency. I enjoyed the story, but I felt I would have enjoyed it equally if I'd read it in print or on a static web page.
(Spoiler - click to show)Then I got to the final section, and the story unleashed all Twine's possibilities: a more game-like structure with several possible actions, sound, and a spotlight effect I've never seen in Twine before. All these factors do an excellent job building atmosphere and creating claustrophobia. The music at the end is perfect.
I give my father's long, long legs four stars on account of the story, mood, and some excellent use of Twine's possibilities. However, players who prefer some agency in their IF might want to look elsewhere.
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