Spring Thing: Superhero Stress

“Superhero Stress” touts itself as either a sort of stress-management simulation, or an exploration of the pressures of being a superhero: at least, that’s the impression I got from the blurb. In practice, it’s actually a very simple CYOA with a very simple branching narrative about a day in the life of a superhero.

Well … it’s also very short. I do not think any of the adventure presented has been explored with any particular depth. You go to a situation, choose right and win, or choose wrong and lose; or, in one thread, win either way because the two branches make no difference. There is one minor detour, in which we indulge in some literal toilet humour. Some of the endings are abrupt enough that, this being Twine, I wondered if there was supposed to be some sort of timed effect that was supposed to kick in.

There’s not a lot going for the game here. What it does have going for it is a trace of attitude. It’s not exactly mature, not yet, but I can see it growing into something more, given time. The author does get us comfortably into the mindset of our hero with the casual, somewhat sarcastic tone of the prose–acknowledging as well that our hero has his little flaws. This isn’t enough to carry the game or the story, however.

I really liked the forward/rewind buttons. More Twine games should have them.

In short, I found the whole thing rather half-baked, as though it were hastily thrown together with minimal effort. Like a packet of cheese puffs … a bit of flavour, a lot of crumbs, and very little consequence.

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