Even Text Games Can Make You Profoundly Uncomfortable

Even Text Games Can Make You Profoundly Uncomfortable

If you wanna be grossed out by a bump on your hand, tempted into making a sexual mistake, or run from a pack of velociraptors, the ongoing Twiny Jam has a little something for everyone.

What’s great about Twine game is that anyone can make one. Seriously, even I gave it a shot. Most Twine games (experiences?) are simple affairs, and the Twiny Jam, kicked off by the designer Porpentine, are even more to the point. Nothing can be more than 300 words.

This constraint leads to some really interesting experiments in both form and execution.

Growth pretends to offer you options about this weird thing on your hand, but it’s not true.

Even Text Games Can Make You Profoundly Uncomfortable

Late For Class, in which you come across a bunny that’s probably not actually a bunny, is exceptionally clever about how decisions reframe sentences you’re reading. It’s more than just clicking onto branching paths, and makes the literal act of “clicking” on a word enjoyable.

Even Text Games Can Make You Profoundly Uncomfortable

And Velociraptors in the Library begins with, perhaps, the best opening response ever to the premise of studying in the library and finding out a bunch of clever girls have shown up.

Even Text Games Can Make You Profoundly Uncomfortable

“Holy shit” is exactly right, my friend. “Everyone run” is some pretty solid advice, too.

If you’re looking for something different, I’d recommend checking out some of my favourites:


  • Philosophical question: are these games? I guess they are, in the same sense that a Choose Your Own Adventure book is a game. Not in the same sense that a Fighting Fantasy book is a game. Possibly on the same level as a visual novel? What is a game anyway?

    • I am really not sure some of them are games. Ghost hug at least had a chance to fail. The others are just clicking words to see a pre-written story.

    • A game is any interactive media, no? By your definition, the old FMV games (think Fork in the Trail) are videos and not games.

      As a definition, I guess any media in which the participant has an impact on the outcome is a game.

      • I don’t know how much of an impact you can have if the outcome is inevitable. If you can’t fail, that is to say there’s no opposition, then it can’t be a game. Most of those old FMV games had a failure state or a challenge – you could lose the game.

        Stuff like this, and Gone Home and its ilk, don’t have this. Choosing not to progress through the sequence isn’t failure.

  • After the Anne Hathaway erotic mouth Imp “game” this kind of thing is pretty tame

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