IFComp 2016: The Mouse   Leave a comment

By Norbez. Played twice to completion on desktop.

The Mouse is a work in Twine about the main character, Evelyn, and their abusive roommate, Carrie.


The main character is one of the best-painted of the competition. This turned out to be essential to the structure: there’s a long intro before the first choice, at a central moment in the abuse between Carrie and Evelyn. Carrie offers Evelyn (never before a drinker) some alcohol.

You can choose “no”, but you’ll need to three times. By this point the main character was built up enough the mere act of choosing felt harrowing. There was a felt significance to it. This wasn’t just reading a story out of order, this was participating in a moment of bravery or cowardice.

A sequence follows in a similar vein, where you have a sequence of essentially “yes” or “no” choices which involving choosing what the result of the abuse should be. This was, again, extraordinarily effective, and even with a narrow window of outcomes made for an effective moral choice. By that I mean — I’ve played plenty of games with “choices” that generate violence which is clearly imaginary and just a mass of pixels — here, when I picked a less fortunate result for the protagonist, I was actively wincing.

I highly recommend The Mouse, although take the “player discretion is advised” notice from the blurb seriously; this one can get in your head.

Posted October 12, 2016 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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