The Traveller is a minimally-interactive web-based visual novel by Kaelan Doyle Myerscough. It includes graphics and background music.
Earth has fallen; the remains of humanity float adrift in space. To them, you are the savior of humanity… but on a routine scouting mission, you are lost, presumed dead. Alone in the vast expanse of space, you are a traveller with no home – and a mother who may never see her daughter again.
Explore five unique planets across time; encounter alien societies and make difficult moral choices; experience radically different themes, narrative trajectories and outcomes with every playthrough.
You can play it online here.
Review after the cut.
Much Love, BJP: Examining Gender and War through Interactive Fiction is a very short Twine piece by Megan Stevens.
A brief look at the life of a fictional war correspondent. “Much Love: BJP” was showcased to a limited audience at the Hope College Celebration for Undergraduate Research.
Review after the cut.
Seeking Ataraxia is a browser-based work by Glass Rat Media. (Despite the name sounding like a company, from the website I think the piece was created by just one person.)
A simulation of what it’s like to live with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, balancing life, relationships and neurosis on your quest toward peace.
It is a Twine-like format where the reader clicks on hyperlinks in the text to progress to the next page, sometimes choosing between several options. It is a short piece; I finished exploring it in about half an hour.
A review, with spoilers, behind the cut.
Since I sat down too late to review another comp game properly and still get to bed in decent time, let me plug another game I’ve been playing and enjoying immensely.
Device 6 is a iOS game that the creators describe as “a surreal thriller in which the written word is your map, as well as your narrator.” The game set the mood perfectly with an amazing intro sequence that feels like the opening credits of a ’60s spy film. When it ends, you’re presented with a written story about a woman named Anna who awakes in an unknown building. As you read through this story, the text layout creates a feeling of movement through separate rooms through effects like making you turn your iPad or scroll in a different direction. Interspersed with the text are occasional mysterious – indeed, rather sinister – photographs and diagrams. The sound effects add to the atmosphere as well as directly to the story. Periodically, for Anna to get into another room, you must solve a puzzle such as figuring out a code. This motivates exploring and re-exploring the text, images and sounds to notice details. Since these all cohere to the same aesthetic and creepy mood, the result is deeply immersive.
Turning a corner…
I haven’t yet finished Device 6 – I’ve been playing it with my fiancé, which means only playing it when we’re both in the right mindset at the same time – but it’s been utterly delicious so far. If you own an iOS device, it’s very much worth the $3.99.