I fondly remember reading the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series of books in elementary school. It’s surprisingly rare to find a modern text-adventure that recreates their open-endedness, rather than railroading the player through a series of inconsequential choices. “Haywire” succeeds in having genuine branching in its plot, making playing it a much more rewarding experience than most games in that genre.
Gameplay: The game is a straightforward choice-based one, presenting a series of interactions with the main character and various people she encounters. She has psychic abilities; exactly how these abilities manifest and the extent of her powers vary in different branches of the plot. 5/10.
Mechanics: “Haywire” succeeds in making the choices it offers the player matter. There really is branching here; the choices have more ramifications then adding a bit of flavortext to the next predestined decision point. Furthermore, rather than just leading up to a single ending (or a single good ending and a single bad ending) with minor variations, the choices have a wide variety of resolutions. It isn’t just a matter of how close the player comes to the optimal route; different choices result in completely different character arcs and endings 6/10.
Presentation: The tone of the text was unserious but not goofy, which suited the story. I didn’t notice any significant typos while playing, nor did I encounter any bugs. 5/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You also fondly remember the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” series.