IFcomp 2016: Snake’s Game

“Snake’s Game”: a rather odd game about, er, a game.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this, really. It’s rather odd story … apparently we’re possessed by, or else in a sort of symbiotic relationship with, a god-like entity, the “Snake” of the title; its name is Vermin, and it wants to play a game with us. Near as I can tell, this game involves pointing out objects and guessing at all the different possible things that could happen with it. Something invariably happens with the object in question, and I’m not sure if it’s a result of our guesses or, more simply, a result of having drawn attention to the object.

I’m tempted to read this as a comment on interactive fiction: the relationship between the player and the protagonist, and the drive to implement a response for every conceivable action a player might use on any given object within a parser game.

This isn’t a parser game, though: it’s a hypertext point-and-click thing. It seems to have a multiple-branch, multiple-ending structure; though the world appears to be consistent, our path through it may take any direction. Some of these paths involve several choice nodes; some involve just a couple, but all involve quite a few “next page” click-throughs. Even the path with a minimal number of choices involves a substantial amount of text. Some people are okay with this, but I prefer a higher choice-to-text ration. I like the feeling you get when the ending you hit only comes after having made several significant choices.

Having played through a couple of times … I find I’m not really sure what’s happening. I get the impression that this is supposed to be Part One of a longer work–since nothing seems to be resolved–but it doesn’t appear that the different endings are in a similar enough place that a sequel can simply pick up the story again at a single starting point. I’m not sure what the Snake’s game has to do with the unfolding backstory. Do we have some sort of superpower, and is that what the game is all about?

Breakfast: It’s like having a quarter of a mooncake: red bean, single yolk. The yolk is off-centre, so how much of it you get depends on where you take the quarter from. A quarter isn’t a lot, but it’s such a dense, heavy affair that you really shouldn’t be eating the whole thing in one go. To go with it, we have tea: orange pekoe, one sugar, milk. Not really the most orthodox of breakfasts, and I rather wonder if it should be reimagined as something else.

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