Impostor Syndrome

The story starts with an illusion of interactivity, with different things you could examine, or not. Ultimately, though, there is just one crisis situation, at which point, you have two choices: speak up, or shut up. If you choose to speak up, you get the puzzle of choosing which word out of a paragraph of thoughts to focus on. Choose right, and you do speak up; choose wrong, and you default back to shutting up. Only a couple of words lead to the "speak up" ending, of course -- it wouldn't be a puzzle otherwise -- and fortunately they are fairly obvious. This is rather better clued than, say, "Our Boys in Uniform". To continue the comparison, this isn't a case of "Good vs Bad vs Neutral" but "Good vs Bad". In the case of this "puzzle", it makes sense because a meaningless word choice could be interpreted as the protagonist being too confused or shocked to take a positive action.

Unfortunately, it seems that this is all there is. It works out to a fairly lengthy work of static fiction, finally ending with "which of these two endings do you want?" And that is a great pity because I think the central theme of the work could be so much more powerful with a deeper exploration of the issue. All of the exploration that we do get comes in the form of static descriptions. True, you have the option of reading those descriptions, by choosing to click on the appropriate highlighted text, but I don't think that's quite enough. Exploration, in IF, is less about choosing to read or choosing not to read, and more about taking an active part in something ongoing. All the exploration is really backstory to the final crisis; its only meaning is to give context.

In a way, the game is built backwards. The crisis should have come first, and all the exploration should have come afterwards.

It's like a ready-made breakfast sandwich from your local coffee shop. You can choose to have it heated up or not, but ultimately it's the same breakfast sandwich everyone knows. Nothing new about that.