Nyna Lives - Sarah Rhiannon Nowack

The setting is cute! Playing as a cat is fun. But the choices don’t feel meaningful. This game frequently commits a common mistake from the old Choose Your Own Adventure books: offer the choice to go left or go right, but if you go right, you die, unpredictably.

If these are meant to be puzzles, then the player needs to have enough information to reasonably predict the right option. If I pick the wrong option and die, go back, and pick the right option, I should see, at least in hindsight, that I should have guessed the right answer.

If they’re not meant to be puzzles, if they’re mean to be character choices, then I need to care about the choices. What makes A better than B? What sort of character, what sort of player, would prefer X over Y?

There are some minor branch points, but they merge together quickly, making earlier choices meaningless after the fact. Even the choice to visit or not visit the cottage has no influence on the scene where you try to take the flower, which is pretty weird, considering.

As for the story, none of the characters really grow or change. The PC has no personal conflict or life goals other than napping and eating. That won’t sustain a larger story. (Since the game describes itself as “Chapter 1” I assume a larger story is planned/imagined.)

I have posted a review here: blog.templaro.com/review-nyna-lives/

  • Jack