by Carolyn VanEseltine, playable here
TRIGGER: possible gore
It’s Halloween and you’re at the amusement park with your friend, Keisha! But all’s not well: Jennifer, the school bully and popular kid, is coming your way.
But she’s different today. She’s acting nice and making small talk and all. What’s up with that?
Overall, it’s a structurally solid game, though the story structure was linear, overall, with the two endings resulting from the choices made on just one branching point. This made the earlier choices seem irrelevant. Indeed, whether you play along with Jennifer throughout or whether you’re sulky and silent doesn’t affect the ending you get if you chose the same thing at that one point.
As a frequent reader of horror and /r/nosleep, I enjoyed how the tone gradually turned sinister. Context helps, but phrases like “I want to see inside and take them apart. Find out what they’re made of.” darken the atmosphere just that bit… The text doesn’t consistently deliver the spoopy vibes, though, which I thought was a bit of a shame.
Some characterisation would probably have made this game stronger. Though the PC seemed thoughtful enough, I found her replies to sometimes be surprisingly superficial. It was also unclear what Jennifer’s motivation was. <spoiler>Was what she did all just a prank? Did her conversation actually mean anything? One must wonder.</spoiler>
The story overall seemed rather meek – reflecting the PC’s personality, perhaps? – but the scene which makes it a PG13 Halloween game isn’t too bad.