IFCOMP2014: With Those We Love Alive

With Those We Love Alive written by Porpentine and scored by Brenda Neotenomie placed 5th in the 20th Interactive Fiction Competition IFCOMP2014. You can play online at ifdb. This series of blog posts are mini-reviews I wrote as a fellow author to document my impressions of other games.

Spoilers below

Porpentine is one of the few authors I know much about. I have played CyberQueen, Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha and Howling Dogs. Those works, and Porpentine’s interviews and posts keep me thinking the relationships between the tools, the medium, the story and how these produce a final work. Hagiography over.

I particularly WTWLA for the rich symbolism invoked with small amounts of text. I like how this game looks like it could go well onto a small screen. I’m not sure if the "select my preference" purple links had an effect on the underlying game but that didn’t matter because it helped ME construct a coherent picture of the world and how the relationships within it worked.

The game invites you to draw symbols onto your skin. I did not do this but I see how it could enhance the game. It would further immerse the player into the world and fit well with the way that time passes in the game.

The game is technically well crafted as prior actions etch onto other parts of the environment. The recognition of my prior craft reinforced how much my character had supported the machine from which I wanted to escape. Going along to go on. The music and colour changes support the story well.

Overall I was interested in where the story was going and how it got there. There are some lovely symbolic moments that will mean different things to many. I particularly like the princess uprising. Beautiful.

Highly recommended.

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