Although it’s written by the same author as last year’s excellent “The master of the land,” this year’s competition’s “The good people” is a very different game. It’s a tight, linear narrative that’s driven by the raw impact of its content rather than by an underlying plot or puzzle.
Gameplay: The game consists of two distinct sections: a linear setup introducing the two main characters and the setting, followed by a more fast-paced section in which they have to face their predicament. The game is squarely in the horror genre, and its structure follows the classic presentation of a horror story. The player gets small clues about the odd setting throughout the first section, which are made explicit once the threat is apparent to the main characters. Fitting with the horror genre’s conventions, the first section has a slow pace and has an aggressive insistence that everything, or at least most things, are normal. The second past is more interactive (with most choices in the first section just revealing more scenery details), although it’s still inherently linear 8/10.
Mechanics: The game is fundamentally a well-conceived and -executed short story. There aren’t many significant choices for the player to make, although the skill of the presentation makes that less frustrating than in similar works. I was unable to complete the game, though, because of a series of (unintentional) crashes toward the end. 5/10.
Presentation: The prose and art style are done well, and their tone is a perfect match to the story’s genre. The typography of the first section in unnecessarily ornamented, both in its layout on the page and in its changes of font color and size. Some of that is attribute to (or at least helps with) the first section’s appearance as a standard slice-of-life Twine game, but it’s still difficult to play through. On the other hand, the censorship of the monster throughout the text is a nice touch. Although the text of the game was written well, there’s no reason for having it delayed. 7/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You like horror short stories and experiments in format.