Will Not Let Me Go - Stephen Granade

Written by Stephen Granade, a veteran of interactive fiction, this story reminded me of Adam Cadre’s legendary Photopia: for the emotions it raises, the evocative writing, and the depth.

Stephen, in a single line of presentation, immediately explains everything (he doesn’t need twists): it’s the story of a man who gets Alzheimer’s disease just over sixty.

In the opening scene, we are at a funeral, and the author immediately introduces Fred in a moving way. Then, we go back and find Fred in recent stages of his life when he discovers he has the disease. He gradually realizes what’s happening, and we with him; he struggles to accept it, and we with him.

The way Stephen Granade used Twine is great: the words sometimes change because Fred struggles to remember, other words are cut … An extraordinary journey into memory, a wonderful work. If we really have to find a con, maybe some passages are too long, but Will Not Let Me Go is just short of a masterpiece. And that’s clear from the first lines…

[b][i]You can leave off reading the story and then come back to it later

The story will remember where you were


Yeah, this was really strong.

The bit where you get lost in your own house, especially — it exactly managed to capture a growing sense of confusion, as I thought I knew where things were and then got more and more unsure what was going on, which was exactly Fred’s experience.

Yes, this was a wonderful, poignant piece of short fiction. The strong characterisation and the extremely well-crafted writing really brings the story to life.

I agree. The work was not very ‘game-like’, i.e., there were few choices for the player to make, and the choices didn’t impact the story much. But despite this, the interactivity really affected how the story was experienced. A static version of the same story wouldn’t have had nearly the same impact.

One last, small thing: Unlike the other Twine games that I have played so far in IFComp 2017, this one uses good typography – real em-dashes (—, not -), real/curly quotes and apostrophes (“, ” and ’, not " and ') and a nice typeface (Merriweather, in case anyone is curious). I love this attention to detail!

I have posted a review here: blog.templaro.com/review-will-not-let-go/

  • Jack