Because interactive fiction is such a flexible genre, works in it have a wide variety of interfaces. Some of the reviews here so far, for example, have covered games ranging from bare-bones parsers to an attempt to a recreate historical manuscript. “Railways of Love” is a choice-based game that uses a clever custom interface to present the different ways a chance encounter on a train in the future could play out.

Gameplay: The game takes place over a short meeting on a train, with the player choosing actions for the male or female charater to take, or simply events that occur on the train and in the setting outside it. There are only about a half-dozen choices over all, but the game is meant to be repeatedly replayed to find the different endings. 5/10.

Mechanics: The choices are essentially arbitrary, but that’s part of the point of the game (cf. the Latin tag that appears on finishing a run of it). The story is meant to be played through multiple times, with the choices mainly serving to divide up the paths of the branching plot rather than motivate them. The decision points are clear, although the characters will understandably refuse to take more aggressive advances if they haven’t reached that point in their relationship. 4/10.

Presentation: I particularly liked the interface for this game, which was cleanly laid out with appealing graphics reminiscent of games from the 8- and 16-bit era. Aside from contributing aesthetically to the game, it also clearly indicated its state of the game without overemphasizing it. 6/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You like its art style.

Score: 5

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