That Sinister Self

By Astrid Dalmady (author website, IFDB site)

[This game contains mentions of self-hate and anxiety.]

You’re a girl on her first day of high school, but you’ve got a problem greater than friends or horrible teachers on your hands: your reflection in the mirror is threatening mutiny.

The first thing that strikes me is that it’s a very aesthetically pleasing game. Visual elements are used to great effect. The evil mirror-self is shown in the reflected text which changes, not very subtly, to insert negative thoughts about a situation; the text changes when you click through links to reflect what is presumably the PC’s insecurity and anxiety about her new situation. There’s a whole lot of clicking through, though, not all of which I thought was strictly necessary.

The content – family life, high-school social minefields – is very much the stuff of many teen fiction novels, and what should have made it impactful would be the presentation of the evil mirror-self, but the goal of the game was probably nothing overtly spooky. Rather, it was more about the internal emotional conflict of the PC.

Spoilers below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far I’ve found one ending, the triumphant one. I found the confrontation well-written and personally it struck a chord with me, though there was little to build up to this. The endgame could have been much stronger if the PC had been less generic. If we understood a bit more about her fears and personality, then it might have made the triumph feel more like one. That said, I enjoyed the sly ending (though really nothing surprising to one who reads horror fiction so often).

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