Review: Fake News

Fake News was a fun piece, made even more so by the way it was written. Anyone who blows past the ABOUT at the start of the story may miss the author’s explanation: this was written in SpeedIF style by taking the top headlines for one day and building a story around them. The quality of the writing and certainly the editing are far beyond what you’d typically find in a SpeedIF, but this work captures some of the zaniness of having to weave together these otherwise unrelated headlines into one relatively cohesive rollercoaster of a story.

[I don’t think any specific spoilers follow]

In this story, the main character’s day starts off with a shock and gets weirder as the day progresses. Often, the a series of options (e.g., “you can say x, y, or z”) drive the branching structure of the narrative. Typically these options include the wise thing to say or do, the irresponsible or self-destructive thing to say or do, and the snarky thing to say or do. I would bet that most people playing the story for the first time would project themselves into the main character and go with the more conservative choices, but having the others present invites a more vicariously risky experience on repeat plays.

The writing isn’t Shakespeare, but it is fun and some of the characters along the way are memorable.

On my first play, I got to a good, but not quite winning ending because I didn’t pay attention well enough to get some of the sequencing right towards the end; however, I did get to the full winning ending on the next pass.

This was very enjoyable for what it was meant to be: a fun, not too long romp. While I’m glad to see elaborate games, multi-author teams, professional-quality artwork and feelies in IFcomp, I am also glad that there is room for one person to try out something because they get a kick out of it and want to share with others.

Evaluation

Story: 6

Voice: 7

Play: 8

Polish: 9

Technical: 7

JNSQ: 0

Preliminary Score: 7.4

Transcript: fakenews

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