IFComp 2015: Switcheroo   2 comments

By The Marino Family. Played to completion on an iPhone.


One of the things I find enjoyable about reading children’s literature is the prevalence of whimsical narrators. If the narrator in an adult’s story started giving out points for clicking on random factoids or accidentally telling the wrong story, it would seem annoying; in Switcheroo it’s charming.

switch

Switcheroo is set in a orphanage run by the magical Mrs. Wobbles. Derek, a boy in a wheelchair, awakes one day to find himself not only able to walk but also transformed into a girl.

He shortly afterwards gets adopted, and tries to cope with both the use of his legs and the change in his identity.

The writing keeps up a rollicking tone and the choices are small but not irritating. (There’s bits of text that could use an editor but I never found the issues severe enough to be distracting.) Also, randomly and hilariously, there’s a mini-game involving The Ana Chrony Doll Trading Card Game where historical figures engage in battle. I picked Sonia Sotomayor. Legal argument attack!

I also found myself rather more invested in the final choice than is typical.

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In a prior review I mentioned the “Clue effect” where a series of endings one after the other result in them not being important at all, because the story comes across as a combination of all of them rather than a motivated choice.

In Switcheroo, the only major decision comes at the end, when Derek has to choose if she wants to remain a girl or go back to being a boy. I felt like this choice had heft; while I could go back and pick the other, only one of them was the correct choice for how I was playing the story.

In other words, I actually stopped to think for a while. That’s a good accomplishment.

(In case you’re curious, Derek stayed as Denise. She seemed happy! Who is to say one was more real than the other?)

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Posted November 5, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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2 responses to “IFComp 2015: Switcheroo

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  1. Pingback: IFComp 2015: Nowhere Near Single | Renga in Blue

  2. Pingback: IFComp 2015 Summary | Renga in Blue

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