Game Review: Electric word, “life” (2020, Lance Nathan)

Electric word, “life” is an entrant in this year’s Interactive Fiction Competition.  Right now, because it’s October, I’m just playing the horror and Halloween-themed entries but all sorts of different games have been entered in this year’s competition and I look forward to playing all of them in November.

Electric word, “life” takes place at a Halloween party in 1999 but it’s not really a horror game.  There are elements of the supernatural in the game but the game is more about memories and grieving than it is about the paranormal.  Your roommate is throwing a Halloween party and, realizing that your flat is full of strangers, you’re looking for a way to either escape or at least find some peace and quiet.  Then, suddenly, your friend Andy shows up but there’s something different about him.

Like most games designed with Twine, Electric word, “life” is more a short story than a traditional game.  You point and click to move the story along and to get extra details.  There are a few choices you can make but they all appear to eventually lead to the same conclusion.  Luckily, it’s a very well-written and emotionally-effective story.  I especially liked the amount of detail that Lance Nathan went into when it came to recreating Halloween, 1999.  Everything from the Matrix costumes to the music playing at the party felt spot-on.  Playing the game, you feel like you really are at that party, listening to strangers chat each other up and wondering how you’re going to clean up the mess afterwards.  When Andy arrives, you’re as relieved as the narrator to see a friend and when Andy reveals his secret, it’s an emotional moment for both the player and the narrator.

Electric word, “life” is a simple but rewarding work of Interactive Fiction.  It can be played by clicking here.

One response to “Game Review: Electric word, “life” (2020, Lance Nathan)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 10/5/20 — 10/11/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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