"Caroline" concerns your relationship with the eponymous Caroline, who, it turns out, is a member of a cult that believes in the coming of Jesus' younger brother. It's short, beautifully presented with some nice fade-out effects, and it requires that you type in full the various options given.

This business about typing in the options seems superfluous at first. After all, if the game is going to list all the possible options, why should you not be able to click on your choice instead? As it turns out, though, these choices are timed. Take too long to, for example, "compliment her on her poetry", and the game will register that you hesitated and call you out on it. It doesn't consider that I might have been momentarily distracted, that I might have mistpyed smoething, or that, y'know, one of the main reasons I like Interactive Fiction in the first place is that I can take my time to make my decisions, and am not harried along by real-time events. Granted, the business with the hesitation over her poetry is a neat trick. And the slow fade-out as Caroline walks away at one point, while you choose between action (type "follow") or inaction (just wait and let the text fade away) is a nice way of forcing a gut reaction from the player while at the same time conveying a real sense of the situation; I don't know that this could be done any other way. But I feel that the costs outweigh the advantages. I would still prefer to take my time to choose between "compliment her" and "um, compliment her".

As for the story itself, it feels a little too short for the subject matter, and a little too open-ended. Much of the attitude seems quite blandly neutral, and I'm not 100% sure if my sense of the cult's creepiness is simply my own personal conditioning. There is an ending in which you embrace the cult and, subsequently, embrace Caroline (what, no virgin birth for the second Messiah?) in which Caroline, at the climax, sprouts angel wings ... which could be interpreted either as "the cult was right after all" or "you have drunk deeply of the kool-aid". And perhaps there's a discussion to be had here about the nature of faith, but I rather think that would be a digression. Perhaps the author has endeavoured to maintain a neutral voice because he wishes the player to project his own interpretation on the events of the story.

One thing I'd like to add: I began to suspect that Caroline was not someone I should hang out with when, after placing our orders at the restaurant, she suggested we leave right away, without a word to the people who are right now preparing our orders. That's pretty irresponsible behaviour. I originally thought that this was meant to endear Caroline to us, but then I realised that the restaurant scene is really a parallel to the cult service scene. Both cases involve a couple sitting down to something, and (potentially in the latter case) one of the two getting cold feet and wanting to leave. But it's a false equivalence: staying through the cult service will affect you for life, while staying for dinner will not; you did not request the cult service, whereas the meal was ordered by both you and Caroline; and the service would have proceeded with or without your appearance that day. So (if you adopt the stance that the cult is as creepy as I think it is) mere politeness isn't going to justify staying for the thing.

Assuming you don't walk out on me before breakfast is served, we're having a plain omelette garnished with a sprig of mint, with toast (white bread) and skimmed milk. Condiments are available, but don't keep me waiting.