IFComp 2014: Zest   Leave a comment

Zest features a “life simulator” in Twine by a crew of three (Richard Goodness, lectronice, and PaperBlurt).

A man named Billy wakes up. He has choices.

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Pros:
1. The antique-computer nostalgia vibe in the style and art can be easy to get wrong, but they nailed it here.
2. The multiple endings are kept track of, like achievements; there’s even a “Metacheevo” for getting all the endings.
3. The main juxtaposed choices are “being a slacker” and “finding religion”. If you think of the different timelines of play as all existing simultaneously it makes for fun ramifications.

Cons:
4. The text has. immensely long. pauses between. parts of. sentences and it. gets. irritating. fast.
5. The endings are interesting (although they suffer from the pausing issue) but the interactions leading up to them are quite limited. I wanted Billy to go to a monster truck rally or make weird art or pretend to be auditing community college classes.
6. Because of points #4 and #5, the gameplay is not really pleasant and it’s one of those games that’s more interesting to talk about than experience.

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Posted October 13, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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