Inside Woman: Moving Along

Well, the month of October is over, but the judging period for the Comp lasts another two weeks. I think I’ll keep playing IF for the duration, but I’ll take this as a signal to give Inside Woman a rest for a while. There are still five games I haven’t tried on that list from IFWiki, and I’d like to give most of them at least a cursory write-up before getting back to mainstream stuff.

I do want to get back to Inside Woman at some point, though. I’m currently about 1/4 of the way through by points, and quite stuck. But I’ve been stuck in this game quite a few times before, and so far, I’m still overall enjoying the experience. Somehow, this game is less stressful than the other IF I’ve played this season. Where Make It Good and Cacophony and Blue Lacuna were largely about puzzling out the hidden meaning of the gameworld, Inside Woman is all on the surface. Utopia is Bad Guys, and acts like it.

If there’s one thing this game does well, it’s self-contained sub-scenes that operate on their own rules, like the pizza place I mentioned earlier, or the simple cyberspace-hacking scenes (of which I’ve seen two so far), or even, in the very beginning, passing through the first security checkpoint by answering questions about your cover identity. That last bit struck me as not really fitting in the story — here I was trying to quickly find information in my personal documents that surely the player character would have memorized, so it was a puzzle aimed at the player, not at the character. It was still a pretty satisfying easyish puzzle: it put a little smile on my face every time they asked something I already knew.

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