To Burn in Memory

Significant effort has been put into the presentation of this game. The general effect is of something out of the Art Nouveau: very beautiful and tantalising, and requiring a bit of effort to read. The world seems a little overwhelming at first -- I suspect that this impression may be part of the hypertext format, which doesn't seem as well conditioned for spatial exploration as the parser format -- but begins to get more manageable as we start circling back onto previously-visited locations. Even so, the hypertext format in this case divorces room-to-room (or node-to-node) movement from map directions, making it more difficult to picture the general layout of everything. Not that I think every location link should have a direction ascribed to it: forcing that could come off as unnatural, and get in the way of the prose.

The prose is a little opaque. I get the general impression of romantic language, but I'm not really getting a lot of concrete information on a casual scan of it. I almost feel as though the game, which is a rather simple matter of finding keys for various locks, exists primarily as a vehicle for the prose rather than the other way around. The story snippets, memories picked up at various nodes once you've gained the appropriate object, are somewhat clearer. The voices of the the supposed writers come through clearly, and the impression is of a human drama more important than the political forces driving it: everyone's acting or reacting as a result of these big political expediencies, but it's somehow very personal, and I found that I was more interested in how the characters got on afterwards than in what they were fighting for in the first place, or what the story even was.

The game claims to be atemporal, but these snippets of story, delivered in a non-chronological order, are centred around the late Edwardian era -- an era picked, I think, for its romance as a time of transition: it's the twilight of the Victorian age, and the Great War is looming ready to sweep everything away. For me, this informed my vision of the city more than any of the descriptive prose.

As breakfast, I'm thinking this is like a delicate crepe with assorted berries and thick English cream, and a pot of jasmine tea, served on elaborate bone china. Light in volume, but richly flavoured.