(s)wordsmyth by Tristan Jacobs
This is a choice-based piece, where you are seeking revenge, armed with a talking sword. Note it is a Windows executable, but I was able to run it under Crossover on my Mac. I think it was running ok, but I only saw the wide text window at the bottom, a square empty window top right, and blood splatter effects whenever I got a bad ending. Most of the screen was blank, and I’m wondering if I should have seen pictures there. Frustratingly this Unity-based game implementation meant that I couldn’t adjust the font size, as I could have done in a web-based version. I also found clicking choices tricky at times, though I was able to use the keyboard to mvoe the text on, as required a lot.
The story is quite fun, revolving around choosing how to interact with other characters that you encounter, as part of a wider quest. At key points there are almost the equivalent of video game boss battles, where you have to negotiate something that can end the game. I don’t know how many solutions these have, but I kept making the wrong choices. Luckily the game at this point allows you to replay from the last crucial choice point, and have another go. I did this several times to overcome some of the “big bosses”, but got stuck eventually at a certain point.
So fun, but a rather frustrating user interface, that does have accessibility implications. I also wonder if it works at all for blind users. I’d like to see this reworked into a more conventional web-based version, preferably with in-game hints that you can pick up on. Because as I say I got very, very stuck eventually.