Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rite of Passage (review)

"Rite of Passage" is a Twine game written by Arno von Borries for the 2016 interactive fiction competition. The blurb says 
"A comedy in four parts about exciting games of instinct and wits, set in childhood. Not necessarily for children."

Should get the award for the most misleading blurb. This is not a comedy.
Rite of Passage is written in the voice of a boy's diary, chronicling four years spent in a boarding school from 5th to 8th grade. I assumed this was British, just because of some of the colloquialisms, but it could take place in any boarding school. Boarding school life, in this description, is a culture bullying. Teachers bully students, students bully one another. Depending on the choices you make, you might be the victim or the perpetrator. But none of the choices really have any lasting consequence, to either change the culture of the boarding school or to prevent the final senseless tragedy.

Interestingly, the one choice with the most narrative impact comes at the end. The PCs parents ask if you want to "go abroad" next year or (presumably) stay with the same group of bullies.  Your answer doesn't change the ending at all, but it does force you to pause and reflect on the whole experience, and perhaps realize that there is no escape from what you've experienced.

Worth a play, but don't expect a comedy.

No comments:

Post a Comment