Spy Intrigue: longest Twine game of all time (spoilers)

This game got a ton of discussion in the author’s forum. I’m prudish, and this game is not,but its merits are undeniable.

It has more text and more nodes than any other Twine game.

It has hilarious scenes (I will never forget OATMEAL TIME) and really deep ones (the secret ending and the administrator).

The goggles actually let you see all the nodes around you.

I think this game needs more discussion I’m kicking it off.

This was by far my favorite game of the comp, and one of my top 5 Twine works of all time. It pulls off both wacky weird-Internet and speculative fiction written like a scythe, the node mechanic is both novel and thematic (try getting high and see what it does), and there is more than enough, well, spy intrigue to remain fun. I’ll post my full review later, but this is both ambitious and amazing.

This game is the best kind of poetry. I kind of want to play through again just to gather 100 hilarious quotes to post here. GOD, what a wonderful thing.

SPY INTRIGUE is definitely my favorite game of the comp, and one of my favorite IF experiences ever. I’ve played it through to the end twice now, digging up as many tidbits as I could along the way, and there’s still more to be discovered in there. I really could not recommend it enough.

The thing I respect most about SPY INTRIGUE is that it dances between absolutely hilarious and gut-punchingly emotional, often within the same paragraph, and it works. It hits highs and lows with such perfect precision.

Like, for example, from quite early in the game:

[spoiler]THERE ARE YOUNG PEOPLE FROLICKING ON THE BEACH, DANCING IN THE WAVES, SCARED TO DEATH THEY MIGHT BE IN LOVE WITH THE PERSON NEXT TO THEM AND THAT PERSON MIGHT NOT BE, TERRIFIED THEY MIGHT NOT BE LOVABLE, THAT THEY MIGHT NOT BE SMART, THAT EVERYTHING THEY DREAMED MIGHT COLLAPSE WHEN SUBJECT TO THE SLIGHTEST PRESSURE, LIKE DRY-ROTTED WOOD

(click an option)

BUT YOU DONT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT NOW BECAUSE YOUVE GOT BRA AND A LICENSE TO KILL

IF YOU WERE A WHALE YOU’D HAVE A LICENSE TO KRILL

HAHAHA YEAH
ACTUALLY NOT ALL WHALES EAT KRILL AND SOME DON’T EVEN HAVE BALEEN. FOR EXAMPLE, THE—[/spoiler]

It handles its humor with such a perfect double-helix of self-awareness: It makes the cheap jokes before you have a chance to do it, before you can distance yourself from the narrative to make fun of it; and then it makes fun of its cheap jokes in a way that builds trust, the way that friends bond through inappropriate humor in the face of terrible things.

The other thing I love, love, love about this game is the way it understands that in order for something to feel universal, to resonate on that level that makes you go, “Shit, yeah, I know exactly how that feels”…it has to be incredibly personal and specific. The experiences of the PC in SPY INTRIGUE are not like the experiences of any person alive. They can’t be. They’re deeply rooted in a well-wrought, complex dystopian world, and intensely personal besides. But in their specificity, the emotions become resonant.

The way it feels to be hurt by an adult, but not question it because of the power differential.
The way it feels to hang out with people you thought were your friends but who are actually using you as the butt of their jokes.
The way it feels to love something with every fiber of your being and be rejected by it, because it cannot love you the way you need it to.

These are intensely familiar themes. These are snapshots from my life, and the life of people I know. And SPY INTRIGUE invites me to share in that pain and then break the tension with laughter…like a good friend does. And I think that’s what I love most about this game, is that it somehow made me its friend.

This is something I felt but I hadn’t been able to verbalize before. It’s true. People so often go for cheap, obvious jokes that aren’t funny, just because the jokes are there and they want to hit an easy target, but SPY INTRIGUE hits most of these easy targets itself. In these situations, it’s not really trying to be funny. What it’s doing is burning away dead underbrush to stop someone dead in their tracks if they think they can get anywhere by snarking at it.

Yeah, ‘Spy Intrigue’ is almost certainly the best piece that was entered in IF Comp 2015.

Or at least, like, the most artistically significant / consequential.

doing ventriloquism YEAH THAT SOUNDS GREAT I’D ALSO LIKE IF YOU WERE TO PERFORM THAT FUNCTION