Thursday, October 27, 2016

Aether Apeiron: The Zephyra Chronicles (review)

"Aether Apeiron: The Zephyra Chronicles _ Book I: The Departure --- Part I: Prelude to Our Final Days on Kyzikos" is Twine game written for the 2016 interactive fiction competition.

The "five finger rule" is a guideline which elementary educators teach to beginning readers in the US (and perhaps elsewhere, as far as I know). The child is asked to turn to a random page, and count the number of unfamiliar words. If there is not a single unfamiliar word, the reading selection might be too easy. If there are five or more, the reading selection is too difficult. I must confess, I reached the fourth unfamiliar word before the end of this over-long title, and found five more in the blurb. The blurb alone is one long stream of made-up words and sci-fi mumbo jumbo. Unless I'm struggling to learn a foreign language, or I'm choosing to play a linguistic puzzler ("Gostak" Carl Muckenhoupt, 2001) I want my hand held while I wade into this alternate universe of unpronounceable place names.


Many of the place names and people seem to be inspired by ancient Greek mythology. I don't understand the connection between Earth's Greece and the distant planet described in this epic. The story advances by selecting highlighted words in the text, but many of the branches loop back to earlier nodes and finding the new ones requires the player to navigate a tedious virtual menu maze. I'm not the right audience for this.

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