I’ve missed the entire Spring Thing season for examinations, so I now belatedly arrive at some reviews.
Niney’s main mechanic is simple: you are a passenger on this mysterious train, destination unknown, and you must assume different roles for the sake of your fellow passengers. You are all things and none of them.
I found Niney’s language intriguing; the identities that the PC assumes are frequently phrased in terms of postures – “the one who gazes ahead”, say – or attitudes – “the one who is weak”. Assuming these postures doesn’t just change how NPCs respond to the PC, but even the PC’s internal state.
The characters in this game are loosely sketched, like a quick and dirty pencil drawing, as is the PC. The PC is truly a blank slate, ignored by NPCs unless they are somehow relevant, having barely any persistent character traits. This works if you view the game as an allegory, which ties in with the dream sequences.
I felt that parser worked well here, allowing the author to hide how the player’s abilities change with scenes.
However, what is demanded of you is not always clear; I found myself force-fitting identities more than once. The language also tends toward the flowery, especially in its descriptions of emotions. Greater succinctness and more distinctive imagery could make Niney really stand out.