IFComp 2015: To Burn in Memory, by Orihaus

Slowly but surely!

Blurb: To Burn in Memory, an ahistorical and atemporal Interactive Fiction work for IFComp 2015. Explore a city that never existed, and uncover its secret history through the memories of a woman that lived its darkest moments.

System: “Inquisitor”, perhaps a homebrew system?

For some reason this one didn’t work in Chrome at all, so I bounced back to Firefox. It’s a rather exploratory and apparently structurally linear work, which seems to want to have a high, elegant tone. It’s not quite equal to the task and occasional stylistically suspect choices and straight-up grammar errors rather mar the attempt. Generally the structure was a bit offputting too: enormous static spaces, whose geometry wasn’t always apparent from the description of exit options, and little to actually interact with except keys and doors. Not a real good sense of place, either: the refrences to Germans and a vaguely late-19th-century feel were muddled by the somewhat fantastic sense of the unreal.

The crypt entrance, incidentally, has a message which suggests that it’s at the end of the story, and certainly room descriptions after that are somewhat fragmentary.

I would like to be supportive of a work which has a great deal of effort poured into it, but there’s too much here which doesn’t work. The mood feels a bit too flat, in spite of the attempted ornateness. The mystery is mostly irritating instead of compelling (why did touching that mysterious device destroy the gate, say?). And, of course, it’s not actually finished.

Rating: 4

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

2 Responses to IFComp 2015: To Burn in Memory, by Orihaus

  1. Thanks for the review! I left a note on the Interactive Fiction forum that said not to play the (very) unfinished build found in the competition zip, sorry if you didn’t get that, I there doesn’t seem to be anywhere more public to make that known.

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