The Role of Music in Your Life

By Five Dials, in collaboration with Present Plus. (Custom CYOA; IFDB; play here)

The Role of Music in Your Life is, on first glance, an odd thing: a questionnaire? Seriously? Is this really IF?

The Role of Music in Your Life expands out into a dialogue-driven, minimal story about an anxious mother and her kid. The character development is handled deftly, especially when the kid in question speaks up, forming a good foil to his mother’s perspective. Telling this story through just dialogue raised the possibility of an unreliable narrator, which gave a sinister edge to the mother’s lines.

I was disappointed to find that, despite the choices, the story doesn’t actually branch. It would have been satisfying, or at least fun, to see how different answers to the personality quiz-type questions affected how the mother treated the PC. Nonetheless, this minimal piece of CYOA has some very clever writing and a delicious use of unreliable narrator. I enjoyed it.

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