Closure is an entrant in the 2021 Interactive Fiction Competition. All of the entries can be browsed and experienced here.
In Closure, you play the best friend of Kira. Kira has just broken up with her longtime boyfriend. Because she wants to find, for sentimental reasons, a photograph that was taken of the two of them during happier times, she breaks into his dorm room to search for it. When she can’t find it, she texts you. She sends you a description of the dorm room and asks you for advice. You can text back with command like “search the desk,” “look in the closet,” and “leave the room.”
The last command is one that I sent a few times because I’m not a teenage girl and I guess I had the stereotypical male response to Kira’s problem. Sad over a breakup in college? Leave the dorm room, suppress all of your emotions and your feelings, drink until you pass out, wake up with a monster hangover, keeping going out and turning off every girl you meet by constantly talking about your ex, and, after everyone finally tells you that they’re getting sick of hearing about it, move on with your life. That worked in college (or, at least, everyone always pretended that it worked in college) but it wouldn’t make for a very good or emotionally rewarding IF game.
Closure, however, is a good IF game. Once I accepted that I wasn’t going to be able to talk Kira into leaving the dorm room, I helped her investigate and solve the mystery of why her boyfriend had dumped her. At first, I thought the texting approach would make for an awkward game but it actually ended up working pretty well and the game ends with a good message about moving on and yes, closure. It also ends with a suggestion of things that you could tell Kira to try the next time that you play the game. This is a simple but rewarding game, one that can be played more than once.