Sunburn is a brief work about a (likely trans, based on hints) woman who has been locked in an office to die painfully (mentally and physically) in retribution for turning a passive-aggressive "nice guy" down. It has alternate endings, which is a specialty of this author (and something I like to see,) and it fits into a tidy zblorb.
Now, I favor the more escapist games. I like ones that discover
nonsense that was in front of our nose, so we can laugh at that, or
maybe laugh at people's foibles. That, I think, makes people happy. And it's constructive. And I
think there's a place for serious games, and a good balance can open up doors.
I think this is a serious effort and tried not to be too brute-force, but unfortunately I think it failed. And if it meant to evoke a strong emotional reaction, it did.
So I'm waffling here, and the reason is, I know this is being harsh, and I debated what to send privately to the author. The problem is, if a game takes risks like this--well, it risks reviews like this. But I hope the author can picture where I'm coming from.
Technical, first: the puzzles felt wobbly, for their brevity--unlocking the door had me confused, as I wanted to visualize it (a plasteel door. Was it blocked by a plate? When I couldn't turn the handle, I assumed Paul had done something from the outside to lock it in. Maybe even bolted it, if possible. I'm speaking as someone who can break into my own house if I must. So, having the game say, well, it's not bolted or sealed, or right up against the wall, would help. I mean, you want to establish helplessness, but not make the player groan.) Maybe I saw seal/Plasteel--I don't know. But it was my first impression, and it left me feeling even more trapped than I needed to be.
Maybe that's the point. But if it is, I think it's a poorly chosen one. Balancing helplessness versus frustrating the player into doing other things is tricky, and this didn't work here.
I also felt uncomfortable with the antagonist. Setting up an elaborate trap then coming back...with a crossbow? This feels like such a parody of the Fedorian type that I lost a lot of belief, up to the "You were killed by an entitled misogynist" epitaph.
The thing is that I felt this game puts a box over me like (and let's be clear it's LIKE, not AS) Paul put a box over the main character with his "chemistry?!" I had anti-chemistry with this game. The author can contact me with details. But I do not want to force them on anybody. Maybe I'm embarrassed I'm about to say something dumb and there's some CYA here.