Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bridges and Balloons, by Molly Greene

Games or books about talking animals are almost always fun, and this effort is, if a bit short. However, I think it uncovers one of the big problems I have with Twine, or with how it is now: there is too much linearity, and no real chance for mistakes, and everything can be funneled to an ending that makes me wonder if I wasn't better off just reading a book. I never get the chance to do something crazy (even having an obviously silly choice would be fun here,) and really, I like having some chance to make errors, because it does add a certain color to things.

I hope the game, if the author goes through with it, invokes rudimentary inventory or variables. I think Bound, by Starfinger X, does a good job of showing how variables work in Twine. I know there are others. But it is relatively simple, and while it's nice to be able to make something CYoAish with a clear plot and fun characters, I'd like to see a bit more given how powerful Twine is. Not using all the big features--but there are so many that are easy in Twine but tougher in a formal programming language, I'd like to see people risk it.

More seriously, I think things cut off before anything really serious happens. I mean, I like having the cliffhanger, but the choices I saw generally looped back to each other. The game was quick enough that I was able to check. So it's nicely inoffensive, and I like what's there. But it just feels like escapism now. My guess is that the author hemmed themselves in by the concept of an introduction, because I felt like the game just cut off.

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