I’ve posted my reviews thus far on IFDB and may move them over here later. I decided to post here as well, as I think there are bugs in two games that force a restart.
Later today I’ll edit this to include a short review of “A Calling of Dogs,” but for now will just provide a bug report so others can avoid it.
"A Calling of Dogs"
First, beware of the bug mentioned at the end of this review as it forces a restart.
Second, this is not a genre I’m too capable of judging. You play a woman, locked in a cage in a basement, with most choice involving interactions with your kidnapper. I don’t have any positive reaction to this sort of voyeurism—so I cannot review how effectively this piece works in this respect. I leave it for fans of true crime, pulp crime, and similar genres to judge its merits.
I feel more qualified to say some words about the quality of prose. The piece has certainly been proof-read. But, there is the occasional metaphor or description that reads strangely. A couple of examples are a comparison to a sinking iceberg (ice doesn’t sink, it melts) and of what a black hole sees when it looks at you. Such odd phrasing is not common, but I think the piece can be tightened up considerably with another round of editing with these things in mind. There is enough consistency in tone and elsewhere that the authors seem capable of this type of revision.
In the ending I came to, the woman escapes to find herself in a bookstore. I do not know if there are other endings. I find this an extremely odd choice. If I was an editor, I’d probably try to find out exactly what the author wants to say by tacking this ending onto a story filled with such menace and violence, implied and actual. If the desire was to be strange, unforeseen, and ambiguous—it succeeded. But, if they had some more definite project in mind, perhaps it can be reworked a little.
BUG: There is a point where you can choose to look at “All the metal.” (I don’t really think it will give anything away, but blurring out of abundance of caution) After doing this, the option does not disappear. If you choose this same option a second time, you receive the exact same response, only it lacks a hyperlink to take you back to the list of choices. You must restart the game.
It is a short game so it isn’t too annoying. But due to the subject matter, having to replay the game may not be the most pleasant experience.