Flight of the Code Monkeys

There's no denying that this is an exceedingly clever piece of work. It's written using Google Colaboratory, which ... okay, I'm only now learning about this, so excuse me if I get something wrong, but it's basically a tool for coders and programmers to share their work ...? Basically, NOT an IF tool. (Technically, neither was the engine on which Adventure was written, but I digress.) Basically, the story/game calls for you, the player, to make changes to snippets of code which result in different things happening and, ultimately, in different endings.

The story is, apparently, that we're maintaining a major piece of code that governs something called 'the Membrane', which in turns takes care of beings called 'Sandows', either keeping them out of the place we're in, or feeding them. What are the Sandows? I'm not sure, but our main character is used to referring to them with a slur, a habit he seems to want to break, while his romantic interest is mentioned as having Sandow ancestry. This whole situation ... smells a lot like a vision of Trump's wall on the Mexican border, to be honest, and the world of the game feels like an authoritarian dystopia where the wall has been both successful and effective.

Anyway, the story is presented to us all at once, on a single page. There are code windows in which we can edit snippets of code, and we have instructions with each segment as to what we are to do. We compile the code segments as we go, and that is how we obtain the results of our interference with the story. There are a few places where we have some simple choice-input stuff, but for the most part, our choices are a matter of how we change the code. As I said, it's very clever.

I will admit, however, that the format does impose certain limits. The story works by exposing its innards to the reader, which may be a bit off-putting to those without much of a coding background. This seems further exacerbated by the opening, in which our main character complains about the pointlessness of his work and the opacity of the code. Comparisons might be made to this year's Language Arts, but it probably has more in common with last year's Ostrich. As a breakfast, I imagine it to be something like a Singaporean soft-boiled egg with a slice of dry toast and a mug of black coffee: some precise technical wizardry in the kitchen to get an egg white that's both cooked and runny, which will probably go unnoticed at the breakfast table itself; and aside from that, pretty simple, modest fare.