That's a lot of text. Well-written text of the kidlit variety, but not all that much interactivity to start with. There were a few branches and choices, but I wasn't able to explore ... I don't know if I'm just daft, but, having reached the end, it appears that I can't restart unless I identify as a new person. Or perhaps sign up for updates. Which is annoying. I'd really rather not leave behind a huge trail of cookies or whatever it is that keeps track of progress here; after all, I don't see a way of erasing a previous identity.
What this means is that all I have to go on is my single playthrough of the story.
Anyway, as I said, it's well-written text of the kidlit variety. It gets the tone just right, and effectively conveys the sort of wonder and hope that a newly orphaned child experiences on being faced with a character such as Mrs Wobbles. What I do find interesting is that it doesn't shy away from the sort of PTSD that comes with being newly and violently orphaned, either. The two protagonists have trauma in their past, and the story isn't going to make light of it just because this is for kids. I would say that this is very much a good thing. Life, unfortunately, does not shield children from Horrible Things just because they are children, and a work of children's literature that addresses aspects of it -- the aftermath and so on -- must only help those so affected to face the problems. Or, for that matter, those who know someone so affected; and often it is the education of the acquaintances that needs addressing most.
I could do without references to bathrooms and the sort of things that go on in them.
Interactivity seems limited. Part of this is because I have no idea if I've been railroaded, or if I've managed to carve an utterly unique path to one of several possible endings. I can't go back to try other things. All right, it's more that I won't. Forcing me to swallow another cookie or hand over my ID just for the privilege of poking at the road untravelled is just plain wrong. The other part is a complaint I've heard before about these hypertext adventures: that you can't always tell if a highlighted text is going to be a choice that will take you to the next part of the story, or a piece of exposition akin to examining an object, something that won't force a progression but give you some idea of what you're dealing with.
In spite of this, the interactive aspect seems sufficient for what the game is, which is an interactive version of a children's book. I'm not sure that it qualifies as being interactive enough for IF, at least of the sort we're accustomed to dealing with here at IFcomp. It works as a commercial, marketable thing for schools. What we have here in the comp is only the beginning....
Well, being only the beginning is kind of unfortunate. I would have liked to see how the story ends. Otherwise, it's mostly introcomp material.
As a breakfast, this is like a beautifully toasted English muffin, with whipped butter melting into it. Yum. Great presentation, but ultimately only a starting point. We haven't got the eggs and ham and bechamel sauce yet to complete the Benedict; thus, for the moment, there's really not much else you could do with the muffin. There's bacon, though, and who doesn't love bacon? Accompanying it all is a large mug of Ovaltine.