Tiny-Sized Reviews (all 145+ entries)! Another Neo-Twiny Jam Edition

Keeping up with my tradition of saying a few words about each game submitted to the Neo-Interactive jams, we are coming full circle, a year later, starting once more with the Neo-Twiny Jam!

What’s the Neo-Twiny Jam? Check out this:

And participate :pray:

There are already 20+ entries submitted since the start of the month. So I will slowly get through them in the order they were submitted!

Get ready for some tiny reviews!
(and maybe some longer than the actual game itself :joy: )


And even more entries since yesterday… Let’s start!

Out Of My Mind, by Volt :zap:

Out Of My Mind is a kinetic-like micro Twine about letting go and trusting the ones you love. Your sister has a crush on your trans best-friend, and you fear what could happen if it doesn’t work out between them (she’s your sister and he has a tendency of ghosting after breakups) or what would happen if they do (losing them to each other).
It was at time a bit difficult to realise who was talking when, but it was a cute short entry. The game may force you a certain path, but it does make sense with the personality given to the narrator.


A Clean Getaway, by Requiem

A Clean Getaway is a micro Ink game about strategy and chance. You are an outlaw in a Western setting, trying to escape the law after your last botched bust. You have a few days worth of supplies and the authority at your heels. How long will you manage to stay out?
I still haven’t managed to reach a fortnight, getting caught pretty early on often, even while trying to lay low as much as possible. While it is possible to bribe the authority to get out of their grasp, I have yet to manage a clean getaway…
Pretty fun and addictive!


The Ocean View from the Keiyo Line, by Air Gong

The Ocean View from the Keiyo Line is a micro slice-of-life Decker piece. Sitting in a train, you spot the calm ocean afar, and wonder whether you should go and take a plunge or continue on your journey. It is pretty sweet and hopeful, with only a hint of maybe bitterness or insecurity with one of the path, though both end pretty happily in their own way. It was touching and dreamy.


Method in My Madness by Max Fog

Already reviewed here:


Refusal of the Call, by HyacinthBlue

Refusal of the Call is a micro fantasy Twine with a time-loop mechanic. You are a wizard trying to convince the Chosen One that they are the Chosen One and to go on their adventure. Except that you’re not that great of a wizard, and they are a moody teenager.
It’s pretty funny, and the looping is neat here, since you can’t “undo” your actions.


Life is like a Trampoline, by Carny

Life is like a Trampoline is a micro Twine piece about life and its ups and downs. Starting with prompts going from bad to worse, you are given the option to “bounce back” from them, like you would a trampoline, or dive further down. There are three endings, each with a little message about life, and that it’s worth living.


Yaan Versus the Party, by Tabitha / alyshkalia

Yaan Versus the Party is a short time-sensitive Twine, where you play as Yaan, trying to timely leave from a work party. Many obstacles (colleagues) are obstructing his way, trying to keep him away from freedom. Each obstacle has multiple options to get around it, affecting both the clock on the side, and your approval from the party.

It took me a few tries to find one of the correct combinations, but even the “failed” actions are entertaining. There’s quite a bit to do for the little amount of words. And the writing style adds to the time-sensitive feeling conveyed. You feel the annoyance of Yaan being delayed, and you really want to help him get out!


blue line, by joosbrry

blue line is a short almost kinetic visual novel, where you are riding a train (of life?) while dealing with stuff. The train “conductor” strikes up a conversation with you, hoping to get your spirits up. The message of the game is really sweet, underneath the train metaphor. And the simple visuals were so cute. I really liked it.


Obsesssion, by WoodAcN

Obsesssion is a micro Twine piece where you search through a dark cabin, looking for a specific item. After a few attempts you find some papers; a few more search clicks and you find some more; and after even more clicks, you finally get what you were looking for (more papers!). Because there isn’t any restart or rewind button, if you search too fast, you will miss those side paths and the little information it will convey about your obsession and the object of said obsession. Though I found the manner it was conveyed a bit confusing (maybe for the best).


witchhat, by LeahPeach

witchhat is a micro Twine piece where you are a hat, specifically a witch’s hat, slowly becoming sentient. You “carnalize” words, concepts, and other metaphysical things, to learn more about yourself and your environment. It reminded me of the “I think therefore I am” adage, but more in the “oh, I am? what am I? huh? WHY AM I?”. We don’t know how would a hat think, but the prose does make a convincing argument that “am hat” would probably be the way if it did. It was a neat piece!


lowdown, by :heart: Arezou :heart:

lowdown is a short slice-of-life piece following the inner thoughts of Theo, as they return from work, pondering on their co-habitation situation and dealing with their obvious crush/lust towards their housemates. It’s a nice depiction of longing, both restrained and falling into one’s desires. The purple palette adds to the steaminess of the PC’s thoughts, with just a tinge of seediness. I liked it!


The Origami Near Neptune, by Harlequin Diver

The Origami Near Neptune is a micro sci-fi Twine following the lonely astronaut in The Origami as they despair from the lack of contact from Earth and the decrepit state of the craft. That is… until they receive an unlikely message from Neptune. What will you do with it?

Both endings give a different vibe to the piece as a whole, with one leaving it a bit more open ended.


A Microfiche of Me, by Volt :zap:

A Microfiche of Me is a micro sci-fi Twine questionnaire about your ReInCarnatIon, a deathexperiment if you will. Tell the program a bit more about yourself and your life, and select in what and how you’d like to be reincarnated… unless you’ve changed your mind in the meantime, and found peace in death… It’s kind of bleak, with your life and death handled so coldly by a program (even if you have the opportunity to choose where to go). But you can still give it some flair, in your choice of input.


Thank you for the review, Manon!! Glad to hear you enjoyed it :smile:


The Moon’s Knight, by 30x30

The Moon’s Knight is a micro atmospheric fantasy Twine, a short exchange between a beat-down knight and the Moon, whose favours may have run out at the worst possible moment. The prose is luxurious and heavy (in a good way!), giving weight to what seems a turning point in their relationship. The two endings are equally fitting to the story. Honestly so beautiful. I could imagine it so clearly in my head.

I kind of wish this was a snippet for a longer story. I would just eat it up.


(K)night Under The Mountain, by vermis

(K)night Under The Mountain is a short philosophic fantasy Twine piece, inspired by the knight asleep in the mountain folklore trope, takes a trio looking for said knight, in hopes to bring a brighter future. Each adventurer has a different view on the tale, from taking it as gospel to looking at is as only a metaphor. It is an interesting exploration of the trope (benevolent figure to save us all vs we must save ourselves), with a smart formatting of the story to enhance replayability.


Software Boutique, by OXY

Software Boutique is a micro nostalgic experience in Decker, where you are sent back to the 90s, trying to buy a game with your birthday money. With the dithered retro vibe of Decker, you are shown multiple options, each leading you to a different ending. There isn’t really a bad choice, but I though the middle one was the most touching one (even if I might be a bit too young to feel the nostalgia for the 90s…).


Read This When You Turn 15, by Kastel

I think this will be a long review… sorry?

Read This When You Turn 15 is a kinetic epistolary entry made in Ink, from the perspective of a sibling who cannot take care of his baby adopted sister. It is an emotional 499-word piece, that shook me to the core. It is a thing with Kastel’s pieces that touches on very specific things that will resonate with people, often because they themselves have experienced it (fully or close enough to it).

I am still unsure how to read the piece, whether we are the big brother penning an apology letter, or the little sister finding it on her birthday (or early). It might not matter much, but depending on the POV, the reading will take a different tone. I think my personal experiences made me orbit more towards the writing of the letter. The revealing truth bombs*, necessary to understand how they came to that point, the sorrows and the guilt for doing it in such a way and for leaving, and still throughout it all, the love for their sibling, no matter what, unconditional and unwavering, even if not wanted.
*the webcam one really broke me.

The cadence of each paragraph, through repeated reminders of love (from the brother) and of hate (towards the failing mother*), drives the same message again and again: not enough had been done for you, it is not your fault, you can and should be angry about it. There are reminders of love given, never enough, never the right kind, never from the right person, and of fears, of never being enough or not being able to do enough (because you are not what they need). A childhood marked by actions out of her control, and out of his.
*interesting thing: only the mother is mentioned in the story. Is the father absent? Or his presence so inconsequential to the dynamic that he might as well be absent? Or the requirement of providing love or care to a child not being the father’s?

I have not written this letter, but I’ve written similar letters/messages before. Burning one’s self to protect others is only possible for so long, until you are no more but a shadow of yourself. Yet, the guilt of saving one’s self always remains. And so does the love.


Runaway: A Blind Story, by Carny

Runaway: A Blind Story is a short visual novel meant as a bit of a warning story about certain effects of BPD and the importance of taking one’s medication (or you’d run away from your problems). It is a personal piece for the author, as indicated by the blurb and the end sequence of the game. Thought the actual sequence of event is not physically possible, it does drive the point of the illness affecting your better judgement.