Off the Rails - Katie Benson


Intriguing premise. Mysterious, references to hidden secrets… I’m in.

General Impressions:

I enjoyed it. The game deals with some interesting ideas, but I found that there wasn’t much there there. I was hoping for more branches and more endings. And I was hoping for secrets. Both the blurb and the end text refer to them, but I didn’t really find any.

The Good:

  • The writing does a good job of conveying an introverted person. As a fellow “meek” individual, I found myself relating to the protagonist. Self-doubt and anxiety especially. Very convincing.
  • The themes. People in the IF community are probably more likely to be on the “meek” end of things. Having someone speak to that, to say the nice things we want to hear, to say that the “meek” are smarter and more deserving… but to also have him presenting a genuinely repugnant plan for world domination… it does make you think, doesn’t it? There’s this narrative out there where the nerdy are better than the non-nerdy, and it manifests in some particularly nasty ways. This work goes some way to getting people to reconsider that narrative.

The Bad:

  • As I mentioned, I wanted more choices, more branches, and more endings. I’m perfectly happy with a CYOA game, but I want it to have a bit more than this game has.
  • A minor thing, but every time that the text updated, the background flashed unpleasantly. It didn’t impact my assessment of the game, but I would really rather not need to stare at a flashing screen for an hour.


An enjoyable little story that hits on some interesting and, sadly, relevant themes. Certainly the best reflection of my own variety of “meekness” that I’ve seen in a great while.[/spoiler]

Hey Arclight_Dynamo, thank you for taking the time to review my game. I’ve just updated Off the Rails to fix the flashing screen, great catch!

My pleasure, and great to hear! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next! :slight_smile:

I have posted a review here:

  • Jack

Thank you for playing the game and sharing your thoughts, Jack. Your IFComp reviews make great reading.

Reviewed by yours truly here.
Standard disclaimer: Warning! May contain trace amounts of artistic license. Please play the game before reading my review of it. Not only will there be spoilers, but my ramblings are a bit on the experimental side this year, and I fear that they could be obscure to the point of misrepresentation if read out of context.

Hey lft, what a great review. Thanks for taking the time to play Off the Rails - it really means a lot to a first-time author.

I love what you did with the Harmonia review!