Chemistry and Physics

By Carolyn VanEseltine and Caelyn Sandel (writing as Colin Sandel) (Twine; IFDB)

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(Cover art: pixellated meteor across a black sky)

When you agreed to meet him, you thought it would all end amicably. That you could go away and close this chapter of your life. Instead, you’re now running from him. Bad news: no cell phone reception. You can’t call for help. You’re stuck. Good news: this is familiar territory. This is your lab. Can you get out of this alive?

[This game contains mentions of abuse and violence.]

The game is simply done and technically well-thought-out, with an inventory system and a navigation system using a compass, a la The Axolotl Project. Item descriptions of things in the lab reveal a close attention to accuracy and detail; you can pick up a beaker of isopropyl and trust that the information you get will be like something you might find on an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).

The writing steers clear of florid detail or elaborate tricks with language, instead reminding the player of the urgency of the chase at every other turn (“He’s near”). Some might find it too technical or clinical; I found it struck a good balance.

Chemistry and Physics uses no fancy tricks, does nothing neat with multimedia, but instead relies on the strength of its writing to convey the animal fear of being chased.

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