5 thoughts on “Twine games we like …

  1. I was excited to see Depression Quest on this list of options for class, as it was a major topic of discussion in a past course and I’ve spent heaps of time playing through it. While nerve-wracking in its realism and ability to relate to an audience that grew up on the internet, Depression Quest is an immersive and well-polished game, allowing its playership to consider the realities of mental illness in a gamified context. The player inherently adopts a voyeuristic role in the game, pressing buttons to control the game’s remarkably normal human characters. The game requires a good deal of attention, and ultimately empathy if the player is to beat the “final boss” of depression. There’s something distinctly somber about the humanism of the minimalist webpage; the grainy polaroid stands in clear reference to the passing and standardized moments experienced by the narrator while gray thought bubbles lay below the text, constantly reminding the player of their mental failings and lack of support.

    It’s a sad playthrough that ultimately allows the player to beat the odds and overcome their mental illness. In addition to gamifying personal experience of the depressed in its gameplay, the game opens a poignant door to the neurotypical viewer that may fail to understand the true realities of functioning as a depressed individual.

    Rating: 4
  2. I had a great experience playing The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo. The sound is what really made this game so captivating to me, the sound of the clock striking was so unnerving. I found my heart racing as time passed in the game. I appreciate how much the player can veer off and explore the house– the developers made a lot to explore.
    Also, honorable mention to Two Queers In Love… An awesome idea.

  3. I checked a few games I found on itch.io under the twine tag, including It’s A Beautiful Day, Recipe for Love, and Tiny Tarot. It’s A Beautiful Day is a game about self-care, where you guide a cute gender neutral character through a relaxing morning routine. It was pretty bare-bones in it’s concept, and had an odd moment where the room you were in would not have a door in it until you repeated certain steps of the routine. I assumed there’d be some horror twist, but there wasn’t. Recipe for Love is a game where you explain to a robot the “ingredients” for love, such as trust, humor, etc. Each explanation ends in the robot deciding some object or action is the appropriate “ingredient”, such as giving admin rights to the other robot for trust, or a ethernet cable for compatibility. In the end your recipe is illustrated and can be shared. Again, cute, but not much going on. I don’t have much to say about Tiny Tarot. It’s just a randomly generated tarot spread that gives a very short explanation. From what I can tell the game was made from a challenge to make something with less than 300 words, so in that case it’s a good use of resources. In essence it seems that twine games are kind of constrictive in what they can and cannot do, but those constraints seem to have inspired some interesting and artistic uses of the medium.

    Rating: 3
  4. I really enjoyed Queers in Love at the End of the World. I think I enjoyed that there was a time limit and so a lot of the decisions were very rushed and sometimes I didn’t read anything besides the options and went with what I believed was the best option. It definitely simulated the feeling of the world ending. How do you tell someone everything that you have ever felt for them or wanted to tell them or even begin to contemplate the concept of love when the world ends in ten seconds? I think it is a very simplistic idea that definitely makes a huge statement. The amount of different endings I was able to get to in under six seconds was impressive.

    I also enjoyed Depression Quest because it is such a cool idea to raise awareness about something like Depression through a game. It is incredibly realistic and I think sometimes people believe that something cant be considered a game if it isn’t fantasy or something of that nature, but I honestly think that games can still be interesting and entertaining if they are modeled by the real world, or in this case, the real world of someone that has depression.

    Rating: 4

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