ParserComp 2023: Dream Fears in a nutshell

The author’s description of this one is simply “shitty game”, and it’s hard to disagree. In form, it’s basically an amateur graphics demo, with blocky people and animals with wacky shaders floating in space in front of a bunch of particle effects, bound together by a story of a dream about a “fear fairy” helping you to conquer your greatest fears (which turn out not to be thematically interesting ones, but, like, fear of spiders and stuff). There are occasional command prompts, but you’re told exactly what to type — anything else is simply unrecognized, even if it varies only in spacing or punctuation. Only one prompt offers you a choice of things to type in. The rest might as well be “click to continue” prompts, except that then it wouldn’t be allowed in ParserComp. Which would be a good thing. I’ve complained before about the sort of Twine piece that’s mostly composed of linear, noninteractive text chunks joined together by hyperlinks without player agency, but now I’ve discovered something worse. At least the pseudo-interactive Twine stuff doesn’t make you type in the text of the links.

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