Monday, October 17, 2016

Parser Fiction is Not Dead Yet! (Review of "Color the Truth")

Was it only three days ago I forecast the death of parser fiction? Like all similar predictions which came before it, mine was made prematurely.

"Color the Truth" is a Glulx game written by mathbrush for the 2016 interactive fiction competition. I was familiar with "mathbrush" as the author of last year's "Ether" I liked Ether, but it was more of an art-piece than a conventional story. "Color the Truth" has a more narrative style, but capitalizes on some truly innovative extensions to the standard model of Inform.

I won't give anything away, because the blurb tells you exactly what this is. You are the detective assigned to investigate the murder of radio personality Rosalita Morales.

A good mystery is one of the most difficult forms of genre fiction to write, because they involve so many plot twists. The author must weave together lies and truth and peel them back in a sequence which allows the reader to solve the mystery at precisely the same moment as the protagonist. "Color the Truth" achieves exactly that. This is as good as any IF mystery I've ever played.

The game also features a novel mechanism for interrogating suspects, and a novel way of relaying the story with multiple cut-scenes from different perspectives. A most impressive programming effort and grand story-telling achievement. You must play this.

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