by Yoon Ha Lee.
Plot: What the player needed to do was not quite straightforward; the language makes it somewhat more obtuse. There is, however, a gradual reveal of who the player is through various clues in the eponymous tower, which is interesting in and of itself.
Language: Melancholic, evocative writing makes this game worthy of reading and re-reading. The objects (I am compelled to write ‘artifacts’ instead) and the rooms are influenced, or inspired, by Asian mythology- for example, the symbology of the crane and the descriptions of the instruments in one of the rooms draw from Chinese symbology and musical tradition. It is rather a welcome change from the European/American/similar origins of many IF games.
Mechanics: Nothing remarkable. There is a nifty device in one of the rooms which changes the description of some other rooms, but no significant wizardry.
This game slants towards poetry instead of puzzle-solving, but it does not suffer because of it.