Nowhere Near Single

First of all, we are an aspiring pop-star whose name is Jerrica. Outrageous.

Okay. That's just maybe a quarter of the story here. The story here is that, quite aside from the "aspiring pop-star" thing, we're also entering into a polyamorous lesbian relationship. We have to worry about the image we're projecting to our fans, and we have to worry about the other three members of the four-person relationship, each of whom has her own strengths and weaknesses.

The high point, I think, is in the characterisations. Everyone feels real, believable, distinct and three-dimensional. No-one is perfectly good and no-one is perfectly bad. Taya, the ivy-league princess of the group, strikes me as being the smartest and most level-headed of the bunch, yet she too is capable of some shockingly bad decisions, all without breaking character. And then there's that one co-worker, Ashley, whom I strongly suspect is also a lesbian but who wasn't allowed to come out because the market wasn't ready for it when she started. We don't see as much of Ashley as we see of any of the women who are actually in our relationship group, but all it takes is a brief exchange to draw out this suspicion.

One regret, and I don't know if it's just a result of my choices, but we don't really see anything of Cameo after that first run-in. It looked as though this character was being set up as the primary antagonist, or at least as the main rival, but she pretty much disappears as the story begins to focus more on our personal relationships. But, assuming it's not a result of my choices, this has less to do with how the characters are written and more to do with the plotting of the story. Perhaps she's just meant to be a representation of this world of pop-stardom that we're trying to succeed in.

There's a lot more in the way of interactivity and possibility than in the author's entry to the IFcomp last year. It's possible to end in a variety of ways, and some further poking about (it's a rather long game) will be required to see how earlier choices might affect later outcomes and/or relationships. I appreciate this. But if we're not going to do multiple replays, though, the illusion alone would be mostly sufficient.

Smoked salmon benedict and tea with milk and honey: a complex intermingling of different flavours in every bite.