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6 Stars IFReview Rating Life on Beal Street

IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-07-01 04:26 

Game Profile

Author
Ian Finley

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Tads2

Release Year
1999

IFR Overall Rating
6 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
Interesting work. It's just interactive enough -- letting you flip through a handful of cards, as it were, pick one, and move on to the next choice. You can search carefully through the choices, or take what you're dealt, or stop.

The author says it's "all about telling a story". The story combinations are independent;there's no single underlying reality. But everything is filtered through the viewpoint of the protagonist, of course. I won't say it's a clear portrayal of a personality, but the voice is consistent.

My only complaint is that the cards are fairly long, and you see them all fairly quickly. So it's very easy to skim them as boilerplate. That reduces each run through the game to a list of six or eight glanced-at keywords, which obviously doesn't carry much weight.

I tried to get some feel for how the cards influence each other down the line, but I couldn't see anything; it seems to be random. That contributes to the sense of a bunch of static, unrelated cards, as opposed to a continuous story.

The gender-nonspecific style was awkward at first, and I never completely got used to it.

Andrew Plotkin Profile

IFReviewer Rating
9 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Andrew Plotkin
Gender Male

Also IFReviewed by

Paul OBrian

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