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Played

a collection by Cade · last updated 2017-06-22 06:41:28
A yuri/girls' love kinetic novel in the American Southwest
Simulation
Cade says

Good shit! 

Really strong character writing for Amber and Marina. Mariah and co. are okay, but feel ultimately feel superfluous. 

I really enjoyed the setting and how the landmarks often functioned as set pieces for key emotional moments rather than just being neat attractions. Zion and the Valley of Fire were particularly effective.

Pacing feels right, and particularly impressive since the story's dramatic crux is dropped around halfway through and the reader is trusted to care for the characters and their relationships maintaining interest. It's not like goals are dropped, but things slow down quite a bit. It did lead to this cool meta moment, though, where the characters' anxieties about moving on reflected my own anxiety about the story ending.

We’ve all suffered inadequate apologies, or wished for apologies that never came...
Play in browser
Cade says

Really effective. Can see it being therapeutic to some degree. Love the way the game builds up to the final chapter by creating scenarios that are specific to practice with before presenting you with something that has the potential to be really personal.

A short linear story about storms and family bonds.
Cade says

I really love when people capture moments of anxiety that I wouldn't get to experience otherwise. This is short and totally worth your time. I hope KitKatz puts out more stuff.

A psychological otome visual novel told from two sides as two countries near the brink of war.
Simulation
Cade says

A frustrating first impression. The first scene dumps waaaayyy too much information, and Autumn lacks dimension until Theo comes onto the scene. The character writing here has occasional highlights, but it's too on the nose with its themes and too overwhelming with its setting for me to engage.

Moving to Edelie's perspective is better, especially since the writing does a better job at handling its description of the setting. But the self-awareness is so close to a deal-breaker, especially when the antagonist is introduced. There's some stuff that feels anachronistic (or at least makes me wonder why it belongs in this setting).

I'm interested in everyone except Nick, and it's gonna be hard to redeem a character this tropey. There's also something kinda icky when you remember that they're in rehab and receiving assistance from a really superficial lead that I occasionally hate. It also makes me wonder if his sister complex is going to be recontextualized as an actual mental-health issue. Playing as a character who so casually judges marginalized people just made this kinda unpleasant. At the same time, Edelie feels like the most layered character, with persistent nationalist subtext in her thoughts that I hope the author challenges.

Might play the full thing if it's free.

a visual novel about a candy alchemist who one day finds a candy golem in her basement workshop
Cade says

Really cute. Like SUPER cute. And pretty. I had a lot of fun with this one since its filled with heart. The characters feel alive and distinct, and I also think it's a great example of how character portraits can be simplified while still remaining attractive in order to create a lot of energy.

power's out
Cade says

Short and sweet. Great conversation between Dylan and Sam, though I find their voices a bit hard to distinguish. Sam's musings about darkness are great, but the resolution is too abrupt. It might feel better if they found something to talk about that eased their nerves before they went to sleep.

GIF
Cyberpunk Bartender Action
Adventure
Cade says

VA-11 Hall-A is easily one of my favorite games. Its themes are kinda fucking me up at the moment, but its character writing will be what continues to resonate with me, I think. I think the levity with which Dorothy speaks of sexual assault is equally frustrating and compelling when read as a way of using humor to deflect. It also gets pretty memey at points. But aside from those things, I have few complaints. Every conversation is compelling, and I recommend savoring it for as long as possible.

A Group Relationship Horror Visual novel.
Cade says

Aevee's prose is stellar, as always. Mia's art is pretty expressive, but it really shines when shit gets real and works in tandem with the prose to create something unsettling and tragic.

Mia has a lot of great stuff to say about queer artists and how their work connects (or fails to) with other queer people. I think she talks about it on Woodland Secrets here, but I can't remember the specific episode.

Overall, I loved the experience, but mainly for the ride. The experiences here are too personal to resonate with me.