Review: Remember

From Create Your Own Story

Title: Remember

Author: Heyoeveryone

Pages: 66 as of time of review

Preview: "Oh him?" The voice replies, "He's just a guy you knew, I think you guys must have been very close. Apparently, something really bad happened to him which I don't want to say, I'm going to save it for later"

You quickly become agitated,"Why don't you just tell me right now?"

"Because if I told you right now, it wouldn't be as much fun when you actually need to know."

Review: Remember is a tale centering around the classic personal horror trope of the protagonist being imprisoned by an unknown captor, with no memory of who he is. And, for the most part, it does this quite well, with plenty of nicely written dialogue and a definite sense of desperation and powerlessness throughout.

However, that theme of being powerless in the face of outside oppression is probably one of the flaws with the piece. In interactive fiction works -- like Choose Your Own Adventures -- one of the major strengths of the genre is empowering the reader to make decisions, effectively promoting him or her to a player. To keep the theme of desperation strong, Remember commonly denies you choices, as almost every interaction must be mediated by the unknown captor, who, understandably, declines all but a few requests, mostly conversing with you at length on a subject.

That said, those choices you are allowed to make can be used to affect the mood and disposition of the captor, and here the work shows its strengths -- dialogue and well-rounded characters. I'll quickly mention that I don't always agree with how easy to manipulate the captor is, as he's in a position of absolute authority, which he seems to forget at times. However, it could simply be that this is a very emotionally damaged character. The protagonist can also sometimes come across a little naive, but overall the characters are believable, and the interactions are satisfying.

Spelling, grammar and use of punctuation are of a consistently acceptable standard, and in no way detract from the flow. Dialogue is italicized, which in a story as full of dialogue as this is a welcome addition (although it wouldn't necessarily work so well in other stories). Personally, I think a few bold sections might look better than some of the ALL CAPS parts that denote raised voices, but that's a nitpick, and something I'm never entirely sure of even in my own work.

As Remember is still a work in progress, sadly a few redlinks show up, most notably at the very beginning of Chapter 2. There's also occasional issues with logical flow, as on at least one play-through my protagonist started conjecting about facts he hadn't learned that time. This is inevitable, as most branching choices lead back to the same place, with most options not forwarding the plot until the right one is chosen. In this regard, Remember can seem a lot more like a story game than a multiple-choice story, though I predict that -- when finished -- there will be chances aplenty to branch out and have different endings.

And that's a good place to again point out that, as of the writing of this review, Remember isn't yet finished. I wouldn't have felt so compelled to review it so early on, but as a featured story it's obviously in a more complete state than the majority of works on this site. Should Chapter 2 (and any other potential chapters) be updated in the near future, I'd be delighted to rewrite this review accordingly.

As it stands, I'm going to give Remember a solid 6/10, and state again that it's an interesting and worthwhile story, with a great deal of potential. It's definitely worth a read over. I enjoy the strength of the characters, and genuinely want to know how it will end.

Score: 6/10

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