Beware the Faerie Food You Eat

By Astrid Dalmady (Twine; IFDB; play online)

(Cover art: red-capped fly agaric mushroom, with the game title in the foreground)

You’ve heard that faerie, if you treat them right, will grant you any wish. That’s why you’ve sought out a faerie ring, to step into the other world.

Like Dalmady’s other work, BtFFYE is a beautifully designed Twine work, with stylistic (and judicious) use of rhyming. There aren’t really outright puzzles, though there’s a bit where Dalmady does some rather clever things with the text… ‘nuff said.

Each scene plays on the tranquil image of elves and fairies playfully cavorting in the woods, combined with common stories: that cold iron will stave off the fae, that eating or drinking food in the faerie world will change you permanently, and so on. Another common theme in BtFFYE’s fae world is the search for home. This is explicit in one of the choices you can make early on, but it’s there in the other story branches, I think.

Dalmady includes multiple endings in BtFFYE, none of which are happy endings. Some might say that as long as you meet the queen, you’re pretty much set for disappointment, if you were ever expecting anything vaguely optimistic to come out of it. It made sense, though, because it was in line with the idea of faerie being duplicitous, of being all about glamour and trickery. Some of the endings are brutal, visceral; others are bittersweet.

A technical note: the link text jumps around every time I get to a new page when playing on Chrome, but this resolves when I put the browser on 90% view. Or switch browser.

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