Tia Orisney's text-based game Following Me represents a very real fear as it follows two sisters, Kat and Aria, who get lost in the frozen woods one night and wind up stumbling across something they were never meant to see. Overpowered and alone, their survival depends on your choices as they try to outwit their captors in this tense and disturbing thriller. Just click the text links at the bottom of each page to make your choices or continue the story to the next page. You can't go back, so think about your decisions before you make them, especially since unlike other interactive fiction stories, you typically don't get to exhaust all your options... you get one chance, one action, and that's it. Though well written, some players may find the ending, however you arrive at it and whatever your choices, still leaves far too many questions to be really satisfying, and the inability save and load means to see the consequences of a different decision requires playing the entire thing from the beginning. Still, if you're looking for a creepy "what would you do" type of Choose Your Own Adventure tale, this one is for you.
Why is this game rated red?
For profanity and violence. :)
Note that you can use your browser's back arrow if you want to try different decisions...though this seems to be one of those games where all roads lead to Rome eventually.
^agreed. You do seem to end up slightly better/worse off depending on your decisions, though. This would do just fine if it weren't interactive, despite the story being rather cliche. The interactivity definitely adds some interesting dimensions to it though; I found myself agonizing over some of the tough decisions.
In case it's not clear from the link, this game is part of the annual IF comp going on right now. http://www.ifcomp.org/ballot has a bunch more IF games (scroll down a little to where it says "Browse and play the games"). I haven't played Following Me yet but I'll be remedying that omission shortly.
Not bad. The quality of the narrative is decent, and there's definitely a really solid mood of tension established quite well. On the other hand, I see a LOT of illusion of choice, which is a trick that's frustratingly used a lot of times to slip something into "gamehood" on technicality. On the other hand, though, even if it makes little ultimate difference, I found a desire to "play to win" made me think the choices through, and gave their consequences a little personal heft, so it's not all bad. But there were still those moments when I reminded myself, "It doesn't matter. It's easier to keep you on the rails, and that's where you'll end up." Back to the writing: I'm also not sure how many editors/testers/proofers this had, but it needed at least one more. There are lots of grammatical errors and typos, and a couple places they lead to sentences that literally make no logical/grammatical sense, though a few rereads make the intended meaning clear. Still, it's an avoidable disruption of the narrative flow.
My final gripe is a character one. The protagonist's sister is unbearably annoying. On top of her being unpleasant, unhelpful, and not very bright, the fact she takes the extra syllables to literally mouth "WTF," instead of just dropping an obscenity, for some reason pushed her beyond my ability to sympathize with (as far as fictional characters go). That said, I hugely appreciated the aversion of the usual inexplicable selective helplessness that characters in horror media (often female characters especially) show. The protagonist and her sister both at least TRY at every turn to get free, turn the tables, etc. Their drive to survive is really palpable, and satisfying. Most of the time I find myself screaming in my head at characters who seem resigned to death. Not this time.
This game was amazing! Incredibly tense and terrifying, but it never went "too far" which would have lost me. But it kept me going until the end