First of all, it’s super easy to get into and play: after clicking the Play Online link from the IFComp website, I was reading the intro text in a hot second. I really like the typography and colorscheme. Very easy to read, very easy to tap a link, zero distractions from the story.
(Only once or twice were the menu options so close together that I couldn’t tell if it was multiple options or just one really long one, but I think that might have been a bug because it was rare. I also saw a text about “want to kiss you” very early in the game which seemed so out of nowhere I think it was also a bug.)
Doing fantasy is hard, but this one works well, maybe partly because it’s modern-day urban fantasy. Cars and phones feel familiar, and I’m drip-fed the more fantastic elements as I need them instead of all at once. Yet the title and intro do let me know its urban fantasy upfront so I’m not surprised by it. (If this seems basic, well, it is, but some works miss this.)
The intro is workmanlike but sets me up nicely. I know I’m some sort of detective, maybe a consultant, and this particular case is unlike my others because I know a key witness personally.
(Weird that “Load Game” is one of the choices off this intro, rather than a “New Story / Load Story” title page beforehand, but whatever.)
There’s lots of dialogue to get going, the writing is pleasantly competent, and I learn stuff before having to make any significant choices.
Stream of consciousness notes:
A key witness disturbs a crime scene of her dead friend, for CSI: SVU purposes, but it goes unremarked? You knew this person, lady, and you went there?
Stanton detective dude misuses the verb cockblocked. ~heh~
These people seem much more interested in their friend’s secret ability than in the murder of their friend’s friend. WTF. Ok, maybe it IS a super big deal in this universe, but… it feels off.
‘Just don’t tell anybody about this probably illegal thing we’re all conspiring to, and pass that on to your coworker.’ Yeah, I don’t trust these people I’m with, and I include the PC in that too.
Ok, I got to the part where we do exposition in the form of reading case files and talking to databases, but I lose interest. I’m not real big on detective stories, couldn’t even finish Make It Good back in the day, because I feel like it’s work, or at least asking me to think harder than I’m comfortable with. (The graphic depictions, which might be normal for this genre AFAIK, don’t help.)
I would still recommend this to others. It both runs smooth and reads smooth, its take on psychic powers + detective work feels fresh, and seems to be a pretty competent piece of work overall. It isn’t for me personally, but that’s on me.
Spoiler-free mini-review: Definitely worth your time. Works great on mobile devices. But do mind the content warning on this one. It isn’t kidding.
Played on my Android phone.