A word of caution - there are some spoilers in this review.
I wanted to like this one more than I did, but no matter which way I looked at it I came away with a rating of 7. Maybe it's my headspace right now, but this game was just a little too painful to actually enjoy
, which is part of my requirement for a game to receive an eight
. The first time I played it, I was in England on the verge of leaving behind my fiance without knowing when I would see him again, and wasn't in the best of moods for a depressing break-up story. So I let it sit for a bit, because I didn't feel it was fair to play it when I was emotionally-impaired. In the weeks that followed, I found myself either in such a good mood that I didn't want to spoil it by playing a depressing game, or in a bad mood that I didn't want to make worse. On the last day I had before the deadline to play comp games, I knew I owed it to the author to dig it out one last time, because from what I'd seen the piece was solid, thoroughly written... something into which Witty'd put a lot of effort.
I never was able to get into it, though. Perhaps it's that I'm not the sort of girl who keep scrapbooks. Perhaps it's that I don't believe in clinging to destructive relationships no matter what out of blind love. Perhaps it's that the main NPC, my ex-boyfriend, is a total prick and the author saw fit to not allow me to physically attack him (Peter deserved it!).
Witty's effort is evident in the game. There were a few glitches here and there, but nothing show-stopping. The writing, though a bit over-dramatic, fits the angst of the game appropriately enough. But I guess it just boils down to the fact that I couldn't relate to the way Peter mistreated Val, or the way Val clung to him despite the mistreatment, or Peter's cluelessness as to why Val didn't love him the same way he supposedly loved her. In short, it's a pretty buggered-up relationship the two of them have, and it needed to end. Had I been Val, I'd have thrown the whole book on the pyre and stomped off down the hill, but the author insisted we draw out each painful moment.
A good game, but not one I enjoyed. Not to say that every game has to be happy - some of my favorite IF games (Photograph
, for instance) are about failed relationships, but for some reason I didn't relate here the way I had to other pieces in this genre.