(none) Quintin Stone - Interactive Fiction Review
Interactive Fiction
Role-playing Games


Author: Steve Evans
Language: z-code
Genre: Slice of life
Score: 8

"Photograph" is one of this year's interactive short stories, not so much a game as it is a linear narrative with little to do with puzzles or problem solving. Not that "Photograph" lacks any puzzles, as it does have at least one point where you can get stuck if you don't figure out the right thing to do (i.e. at the store).

I see IF of this type (heavy on "fiction", light on "interactive") as a method of drawing the reader/player more into the story than you can with traditional "static" fiction. In this regard, I thought "Photograph" succeeded very well. We are presented with a sad tale of regret through flashback episodes that are triggered by various stimuli encountered throughout the game. I found it particularly touching and poignant, and even now I experience a touch of melancholy when I think back on its tale of lost love and "What if?" (No pun intended.) The ending is rather bittersweet, and definitely leaves you thinking. Though this type of IF is not really my cup of tea, "Photograph" did manage to touch me, which I imagine was the author's intent all along. If so, a job well done.

(View this game on Baf's Guide to IF or The IF Ratings Site)

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