One Night Stand

We've woken up next to a stranger, and apparently this is not an unusual state of affairs for our hero, Sandy. She's a bit of a party girl: self-centred, flighty, and alien to any sense of shame. But it seems that last night's paramour remembers her name, while she has no idea who he is. This sparks a moment of self-revelation, and she determines to learn his name before she leaves, as a matter of pride.

To begin with, the puzzles are pretty standard and generally sensible. It's only the "which memento does Mara want retrieved" clue that makes no sense: why would she be rummaging around in her own dresser for it if she has already explicitly stated that Mystery Lover has it? If there is anything unusual, it's the presence of "images" in your inventory, representing ideas that might be relevant to the situation. It's possible to play through without once referring to these images; what they're there for, I think, is to provide hints as to what still needs to be done.

What makes a game is its voice, and in this case it's very much also Sandy's voice. Sandy is a recognisable type: she's Dennis the Menace (the British Dennis, not the American one) a person whom we intellectually recognise as a bad role model, but whom we nevertheless hold some affection for because she's so cheerfully unrepentant about it. Perhaps we recognise in her adventures the impulses that we repress for the sake of being responsible adults. Perhaps secretly we all want to run wild and take potshots at Softie Walter -- excuse me, I mean Mara -- with a bra-catapult.

If Sandy is by character type a feminine (not merely female -- that's Minnie the Minx) Dennis the Menace, she is also by nature a younger Edina Monsoon. That moment of self-revelation, a little too long and too far over the top to be taken seriously, is really a moment of self-aggrandising melodrama. It's absolutely clear that nothing is going to change as a result of this adventure. I fully expected, and I was not proven wrong, that the story would end with some event demonstrating that Sandy's judgement of herself is unjustified and that, in fact, she needn't have bothered with the whole rigmarole in the first place. Whereupon she would walk out with her head high, and Never Speak Of This Again. There are no lessons to be learnt here, no judgements to be made. Sandy will remain cheerfully unrepentant to the very end, because nothing carries over from one issue to the next. Except maybe puppies. I regret missing the two-issue arc where Gnasher had puppies.

Today's breakfast nosh is three rashers of bacon and a pair of sunny-side-up eggs, cold toast, baked beans, and tomato juice. Did I say tomato juice? Maybe I mean a Bloody Caesar. Don't talk so loud, dammit.