The Broken Bottle

First off, this interactive story is rather gorgeously rendered, with a book-style layout, turning pages, and skillful illustrations. Gameplay is of the CYOA variety, with just a handful of choices and rather a lot of text in between them; the story takes a fairly linear path, with some of the earlier choices being tracked for an endgame payoff.

I guess it's the writing and the story that would make or break this game. I must confess I found myself unmoved by it. It was all right, but not quite at the level that encourages longer story passages. There is, as mentioned, rather a lot of text in between each opportunity for interaction, and I find that perhaps interactive fiction conditions me for shorter, more succinctly-written chunks of text. There seems to be a fair amount that could be livened up by learning through the experience of interaction rather than deposited directly to the reader as exposition, and I wonder if the act of turning the pages (clicking through) creates the illusion of there being more text than there actually is. But perhaps this is really a matter of taste, after all.

As a breakfast, it's a rack of toast and a bit of jam: rather a lot of toast with maybe not quite enough jam to go around. We've got fine china and silverware, and the toast rack's an antique. Environment counts for something, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a pretty simple meal at heart.