Critical Play: Story and Storytelling Games

I played Creatures Such as We, a text adventure/philosophical interactive romance novel. This interactive fiction game was completely text-based, which I somewhat struggled with in terms of visualization. The novel introduces a variety of character types/races, which was slightly confusing to me being thrown into the world head-first, but it did get easier to understand over the course of the game. Something that I appreciated was that the game allows the player to customize their age/race/gender (interwoven into the game dialogue) to make it seem like they are truly immersed in the game. I thought it was interesting how certain dialogue choices were grayed out after being used one, so that the user could explore different paths. I wasn’t able to finish the entire game since there was a paywall, but according to the synopsis there’s a variety of endings regarding the player’s relationship with one of the other characters, whether it’s a romantic relationship or one that is “strictly professional”. I thought this was intriguing because it allows the player to modify the genre of the game based on the type of story that they enjoy exploring, not just the direct outcome of the game; and neither of these endings are categorized as particularly “good” or “bad”. If the user just wants to explore the world without making decisions to craft a relationship with another character, they have the ability to do that. I think this choice opens up the game to a broader audience of players, and is definitely something to consider for my own interactive fiction game, since I will also have the player interact with other characters.

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