Hide and Seek (don’t know author)
So this game seems like the author has some solid ideas and has started implementing, but isn’t quite sure how to make everything else work.
Things that are working well: there is a strong central narrative, interesting characters, and nice styling. The XYZZY Awards split up IF into things like story, writing, setting, NPCs, puzzles, implementation, etc. So far it’s doing well in the first four of those (and puzzles aren’t necessary).
But the implementation needs some work. One good thing that happens later on is that ‘asides’ (links that just go to a quick comment and back) are listed in-text, while actual actions that further the story are below the text with arrows pointing to them. I would recommend using that everywhere that a choice takes you to a new page, even at the beginning.
I would also recommend putting the ‘asides’ somewhere on the same page, either using link-replace or (since the author is seems good at styling) trying something like Harmonia or Abbess Otilia’s Life and Death where the comments pop up on the side.
The other area that needs work is branching. It looks like only one main branch is implemented, and the others just dead-end. It can be hard when writing a Twine game to know what kind of branching works well. Most successful choice games use a variant of the Branch and Bottleneck structure described in this excellent post, which means that your choices take you to a different story temporarily, but eventually they all flow together.
Not all games have to do that; Porpentine’s Myriad uses a Time Cave structure, and 500 Apocalypses uses a bizarre web-like structure, and both games are amazing. But if you don’t have a strong opinion about how to handle branching, branch and bottleneck seems useful.
I’m writing all this because I’d definitely like to see this finished. It includes a high school teacher who was recently divorced, which describes my current life, and maybe the sassy advice in the game would be good for me.