IFComp 2023: Bali B&B

Every once in a while I see some mention of someone’s plan to quit the 9-to-5 grind and open a little B&B, and I always find it flabbergasting. Your idea of a relaxing retirement is a customer service job? This piece goes a long way toward explaining that mindset to me. It’s essentially a B&B fantasy, from the exotic locale to the incredible financial success of the place before you even get there to the fact that you’re only committed to being responsible for the place for one week.

The author accurately describes it as “cosy” — there’s a sort of action-packed finale involving a minor flood, but even there, it didn’t feel stressful. The game offers you lots of decisions, but I never really felt like it was possible to make unrecoverably wrong ones. (Possibly you could with some effort.) Rather, you typically get a problem and a choice of different ways to solve it, all of which work. When the story relies on something going wrong, it’s never the player’s fault — even when, in one case, it’s the fault of the player character.

Mainly the decisions seem to affect your relationship levels with the various other characters, which are viewable from the stats menu — the game seems to track a lot more stats than it ever uses for conditionals. This includes your rapport with not just the various guests but the cook, the PC’s grandparents who own the place, and a wild monkey that’s taken up residence on the grounds. Occasionally it was clear that I had to choose one character over another, as when a teenage girl has a disagreement with her parents, but the consequences always seemed fairly minor.

So, that’s the fantasy: Making friends, most of them temporary, and impressing them with your competence. Also, adopting a litter of kittens along the way. It’s simply all very pleasant, with just enough easily-manageable chaos to keep it from getting boring.

2 Comments so far

  1. Felicity Banks on 6 Nov 2023

    Thank you so much for spending time and effort reviewing my game. I am choosing not to make any specific comments about reviews until after the comp, but I assure you that I am grateful for any and all comments, which are so useful in improving my game and future games.

  2. Felicity Banks on 22 Nov 2023

    What a great review! Thank you so much!

    Could I possibly thank you in the credits? And, what name should I use for you?

    Felicity Banks

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