Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"This is my Memory of first Heartbreak which I can't piece back together" (review) (and one sentence review of Toiletworld)

"This is my Memory of first Heartbreak which I can't piece back together." (hereafter referred to as "Heartbreak") is an interactive graphic memoir written by Jenny Goldstick, with development assistance from Stephen Betts & Owen Roberts for the 2016 interactive fiction competition.

"Heartbreak" uses clickable graphics to tell an interactive story about, well, exactly what the title says. The graphics are well rendered, stylized minimalism. A series of animated scenes recall moments from this ill-fated relationship. When dialogue ends, the player chooses from among several graphic objects within the current scene to bring up another related memory.

Most of the scenes describe moments of conflict...episodes when the narrator should have been asking herself "why am I with this jerk?" The guy is consistently characterized as a douche-bag, and after playing several times I wished there were some scenes where I could better understand why they got together. But of course that is the nature of memory after a breakup. Sometimes we can not remember what we ever saw in the other person.

This particular tale of melancholy may not appeal to all audiences, but the team that put it together is super talented and as an artistic expression, this game is amazing. Frankly, I'm surprised there haven't been more interactive graphic novellas in this competition. The clickable graphic style of interaction is familiar, with potential to reach a wider audience than straight prose.

Finally, I mentioned "Toiletworld" in the title of this post. "Toiletworld" is a troll entry, which wasn't worth my time to write a separate review.

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