Sunday, October 23, 2016

To the Wolves (review)

"To the Wolves" is a Twine game written by Els White for the 2016 interactive fiction competition. There have been several Twine games this season about an inexperienced youth tasked with some hero's quest. I'm thinking of "Riot", "The God Device" and this one. Of the three, I thought this was the best.

"To the wolves" is about a child from a primitive society who is cast out of her village and left for dead in the wilderness. The tone of the story reminded me of an M Night Shyamalan film, filled with supernatural elements, dark mystery and violent ritualism. The length is appropriate for a competition entry. It offers multiple choice points, some of which seem high consequence, and some of which appear to be remembered until late in the game, affecting the end-game options. The most significant branch points are near the end. But for the most part the story follows along one main sequence with only brief alternate text reacting to player choices.

To reward replay there is an option to save up to two games, an "achievements" link that tells you what branch paths you've discovered so far, and an "endings" link that tells you which of three endings you've discovered. I was able to discover two of three endings. I did find one bug on my second play through, a branch point that ends in a dead-end with the author's note to themselves to append another entry. It's a long game, and not every player will encounter that bug.

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