IFComp 2014: Raik   Leave a comment

Vince Twelve’s What Linus Bruckman Sees When His Eyes Are Closed is the first time I’ve seen a “dual mechanic” where two different games are played simultaneously.


Essentially, the same thing happens across the games, it is just conveyed in two entirely different genres and art styles at the same time.

Harry Giles’s Raik does the same trick (for part of the game, at least), but is much sneaker about it.

You are given a choice at the beginning between “English” and “Scots mode”. The interface implies a mere different between languages, but the interface is lying. Here is the same section in “English”

You stare and the torrent of water as the many lights play off it, imagining that strange scenes are appearing on its surface. You think for a moment that you can see Ruaraidh’s face, mouth open in a scream, and then you see a great round ship sailing through the sky.

and then “Scots”:

Ye laid up the neist episode o the X-Files to distract ye as ye ramsh. Hit flowes fine as lang as ye haud the structural racism oot o shot. Mulder’s a bam. His pus leuks tuim. Ye’re ten meenits afore the end afore ye realise whit time it is: late.

Depending on which plot you follow, the PC is trying to either find the “Staff of the Salmon, whose magic alone will release your clan from the withering curse of Black Edward” or watch some old X-Files episodes.

The main structure of this choice-game tries to invoke old school gamebooks: a death maze of sorts where it was quite easy to die simply by flipping to the wrong page. Solving such a gamebook either involved laborious mapping or the time-honored practice of cheating (by flipping back to the prior section). Raik nods to this with an early joke in a death scene about “undo” which undermines the choice by forcing you to restart anyway. Fortunately, the game then subverts its own structure again and pretty much allows you through to the end even with massive battle damage.

The Scots mode later comes back with a vengeance, although I’ll avoid spoilers here and say the main character gets highly disoriented.

Posted October 17, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Tagged with

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: