A Walk In The Park

We're a rebellious teenager, with all the self-absorption that entails. Our bus ride is halted by an accident, so now there's nothing to do but wander the adjacent park.

It's not at all clear what we're supposed to be doing here. I also suspect the game is broken, with one location offering a couple of exits that simply aren't available. Presumably there's something down those paths that would have given me something to do beyond messing around fruitlessly with the homeless guy. But it appears I've run out of things to do, and the walkthrough only shows us how to get one point (there are five or six to be had, supposedly) and then "kill" ourselves.

Well, get arrested, anyway, which apparently is the same thing. No "you have lost" message ending the game, though: I wonder if perhaps it's because the author hasn't figured out how. Perhaps there will be an update that fixes all these things.

The prose is just a trifle too clever for its own good. Not exactly overblown, but ... perhaps a little too given to world-weary metaphor? A little too fond of showing off? I'm reminded of something my father told me once about certain newspapers where "the police never 'arrest the suspect', but 'swoop in to apprehend the miscreant'." Word choice influences narrative voice, and narrative voice is an important aspect of interactive fiction; perhaps it is intentional and our hero is meant to come off as a bit disdainful of the world, but I found it off-putting.

The game does try a few interesting things, though. The location of a few objects is subject to the order in which you visit the locations. For instance, the sign is always in the first park location you visit. This ensures that you see the sign before you meet the homeless man. It's a great way to ensure that the open nature of the map doesn't mess up the sequence of your story. I do commend the author for mucking around with some of the default responses: that's part of giving a story its voice, but ... see above.

Aside from that, I don't know if there's much else to recommend this. It's like a cook who's figured out how to poach an egg, and then proceeded to throw together a breakfast around that poached egg without much idea of what the end result is supposed to look like. I ... guess it could be a Benedict, maybe? There's no Hollandaise, we're using plain sliced bread in place of an English muffin, and the egg is overdone. I can't finish this. Back to the kitchen, sir, and try again.