Player Comments on I Went to the Graveyard
This is not quite what I expected when I started reading this story, but I quite enjoyed it. The moment I saw the first page, I was immediately intrigued. "She speaks," the author remarks. "I went to the graveyard, and what did I bring?" Perhaps a knife, to commit some dastardly deed? A casket or flowers, to suit the mood? Or perhaps a bell, for purposes untold? Of course, I was intrigued enough to pick the 'knife' the first time around, though this (unsurprisingly) led to the darker two of the eight tales.
This game essentially includes eight short stories in one. Each of them had a creepy and suspenseful mood, keeping the player on edge. I highly recommend that the reader goes through each one; they’re all only two pages long. I also highly recommend that the reader doesn’t simply press the ‘go back’ button like I did, and instead presses the button “Do you have another story?” when prompted.
The grammar was pretty much all spot on. I did see a few minor typos, but they definitely didn’t detract from the quality of the writing. I think my favourite of the eight tales was the one where you choose to bring a silver bell. Either that, or the one where you bring flowers for the girl in the grave.
If you are looking over this review and wondering whether to read this story, I highly encourage you to do so. Each of the eight will only take you about five minutes. You can come back to this review after you’ve finished the game. Please be warned that the rest of this review will contain SPOILERS.
You did include a nice ‘restart’ prompt on the second page of each of your tales. However, I often used the ‘go back’ button to change the second of my two choices, when I didn’t want to restart the entire narrative. That means I read through all eight stories without seeing the secret ending. If I hadn’t noticed Mizal’s comment, I wouldn’t have bothered searching for it. I wonder if there’s any way to discourage the player from clicking the ‘go back’ button, without disrupting the flow of your writing?
I have to say, your trick with the page titles was very clever! When I initially planned out my review, I was going to comment that they took a much harsher tone than the narrative itself. For example, in one tale, a man is mourning over his dead daughter. Why does the title refer to her as a brat, when the narrator seemed to care for her so much? Why do some of the stories have a caring and thoughtful protagonist, while others have a psychopathic one? Your true ending explains the ‘inconsistency’.
Though not obvious upon first glance, each of these titles also plays significance to the characterization of the narrators and the ordering of events in the tale. Suppose that you choose the option, “she speaks”. The following title is: “one to begin and one to end”. The story with the ‘gold bell’ is the very beginning of the sequence of events, whereas the story with the ‘silver bell’ is how it all finishes.
This is also the first moment where we see that there are three narrators in the story, and that the primary narrator commonly takes the perspective of yet other narrators. Now, I found this part confusing at first. From the true end, its obvious who the female narrator is, but many of the tales are told in the first person despite being from someone else’s perspective (e.g. Daryl’s, Edward’s). I feel like the author could have fixed this by writing about these events in the third person.
There were three stories that didn’t seem to fit into the larger narrative, though the corresponding page titles and text alluded that they did. Perhaps I am simply missing the significance. The three endings I am referring to are: 1) If you choose “flowers” and then “She was lying”, 2) If you choose “A casket” and then “I waited”, and 3) If you choose “A casket” and then “I tried to reach it”. Also, while I understood the connections between the other five endings, I had to read through the story a second time (after the true ending) to fully grasp them. I wonder if there is a way to express these connections more clearly, without giving away the twist.
Ultimately, this was a very good game and I could tell you put a lot of effort into it. I highly enjoyed reading this. Excellent work! 6/8.
on 1/24/2020 12:43:22 PM with a score of 7
Interesting set up in the beginning. You choose your character and the story you get by what item they're carrying as they enter the graveyard. A knife signifies a very different intent than some flowers after all... (Note for those who hate items: there are no actual items, they're just choices to click.)
First think I read was the 'She was standing' choice of the Flowers section. It did not mark the immediate change into horror territory that I expected.
...but things DID turn creepy fast. And this was the point I realized I'd basically be reading a collection of short stories, although this one in particular was so good even just as a standalone thing that I didn't mind.
I'm curious though, what's the deal with the title of the 'lying down' choice? Whose POV is that? Some of the titles seemed to hint that either something more was going on as a framing device, or maybe just that you planned it that way but didn't have time. But that one is the most jarring because it's so at odds with the actual story.
Another nice twist on expectations.
The writing is SO GOOD, I was stopping and rereading some of the sentences a few times just to enjoy them.
>>>I had held my lover's hand what had only seemed a few moments earlier. Hers were warm, mine cold. The world had
glimmered though I knew it was, in actuality, dim and fading. It was extinguishing before me and I thought it
would have been the silent smothering of a flame, but instead it was paper curling brightly, consuming itself in its thirst to blaze.<<<
Didn't care for the path that rewarded suicide though.
The first two paragraphs. Even reading this in January they makes me shudder. I know that kind of humidity all too well and it's lurking just a few months away. Both stories had some similarities, but then again I guess when you're packing a knife to a graveyard with an intent to use it there's only so many ways that can go. I enjoyed the 'hide' one the best I think, there are some glimpses of humor there that gave it an edge over the other one.
Silver must've been the point where you were feeling the time crunch as I started finding more typos here. It was nicely spooky though, going back to you old strengths with writing about spirits and fae and the like. Since that was one of the few protagonists without some dark twist I was really rooting for them to survive.
>The golden light fell through the silken curtain of willow leaves to dapple the path beneath my feet.
Love it. Like, it's just a single sentence, but that's just phenomenal imagery and it's got a kind of poetic rhythm to it. There's lines like this all over the place.
Gold did so much to make the couple likeable in such a short space. Just the little details (like how Amy opens packages) are enough to give more character and believability. And then you just leave us hanging on such an ominous note... This is the last story I read and it's the one I felt the most strongly could be spun off into a storygame of its own.
I'll just DM you the typos I found rather than cluttering up the actual review.
It really is an incredible shame this one was posted just a liiiittle to late to qualify for the contest. The branching itself might be a little lacking for a CYOA, but the actual quality of the writing overrides that. I really hope you have more stories planned, because you are unnaturally good at this stuff. And the commendations are well deserved; if you'd posted any of these pieces individually on the forum they'd have all gotten A++ gold star your admins love you stamp immediately.
on 1/7/2020 10:23:50 AM with a score of 6
I thought this was an entertaining and sometimes chilling read, almost with the tone of an old and sinister ballad or maybe a well-written penny dreadful.
The story works best, really, with all of the four main paths being read one after the other, as perspectives on a whole, as variations of sadness and horror swirling around each other. They don't precisely tell a single coherent story: it's more like a theme and variations, all terrible (in the good sense of the word) and all highly atmospheric.
The narrator's tone of address to ther often has an undertaker-like flatness of emotion: dry, hands folded, somber. I think it adds a lot to the overall effect. But this effect doesn't come at the expense of description, particularly in the "casket" path which is visceral and the most startling in its presentation.
It's like four different whiffs of emotion, all powerful, but held at a slight distance by the narrative voice and the story telling conceit. I really enjoyed this, especially its artful construction.
on 1/4/2020 8:37:30 AM with a score of 2
I was told there was a secret ending, so I tried to find it. It took a bit, but eventually I found it! This was all super cool to read, and if I could, I'd rate it higher. 10 star quality.
on 1/17/2021 4:16:42 PM with a score of 7
As a side note, I’m writing this review as I play the game, then I’ll give my final thoughts at the end.
To start off, I really like the first choice. Starting the game with 4 very different options is an interesting approach I haven’t seen much in other story games I’ve played.
I started with the flower path, and I’d like to start out by saying I love the descriptions. Not so much that it starts to get boring, but enough that a nice scene is laid out in the reader’s mind.
I did spot a capitalization error, but nothing to drop a rating over.
I seem to have taken the shortest route on my first run, however, so I’ll try some other paths.
Upon further inspection, it seems each option gives you a different story. Honestly, I think that’s brilliant, and can’t wait to read the last two paths.
I love this writing, and your style goes with the stories perfectly.
I especially love the twist in the casket path, sad, but slightly happy at the same time.
The bell also had a great unexpected twist. I like how you left it up to the reader to decide what it might really be.
Overall, I give it an 8/8. I rarely ever give extreme ratings such as this, but I feel this one deserves it. The writing was perfect, the stories lovely, and everything was put together in the best way possible. Keep up the great work. :)
on 1/17/2021 3:53:33 PM with a score of 3
I think it's very well written...
on 1/9/2021 1:03:43 PM with a score of 0
Whoa. I found the secret ending Mizal was talking about and this story is GENIUS! What a creative way to use the platform! I need to go back and look at the story more closely now. Bravo!
on 12/26/2020 9:41:35 PM with a score of 7
Interesting. I like how the objects completely change the story. I wish each story had more than one choice, but it's a good concept and well-written. The maturity level should probably be a bit higher. The description for the maturity level says, "Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG." While some of the stories are PG, one in particular would be at least PG-13, at least in the US. Nonetheless, I hope to read more of your work!
on 12/21/2020 9:58:03 PM with a score of 3
Better the Reeses Peanut Butter cups for sure.
on 12/15/2020 6:42:10 PM with a score of 1
Not enough of a storyline.
on 9/28/2020 9:37:05 PM with a score of 1
It only had one choice!
on 4/25/2020 4:27:38 PM with a score of 0
on 4/1/2020 9:27:42 PM with a score of 0
Now THIS is certainly something.
It's not really a game but more of an curiosity. With two clicks you decide what's going to happen, even though you're not completely clear on what those clicks mean. It's clever. But only because you made the outcome work so well.
A knife carries a different feeling than flowers, hiding in the shadows with your weapon ready to attack is different than waiting happily in the open for a friend. I'm kinda into it. It makes you want to see all the possibilities.
This game is like a box of chocolates: You never know know when you're actually dead-- Wait, that's not it....
on 1/19/2020 1:57:02 PM with a score of 2
Hey, guess what? I just found a secret ending!
Hint: there is something going on with the page titles.
on 1/7/2020 8:22:22 PM with a score of 7
Others have been more eloquent than me already. This review is just to tell you that you have a way with words to use them in a poetic style without fall in the purple verbose. I maybe miss an only one coherent story but yours is a really well done short gothic story.
HOW COULD YOU MISS THE DEADLINE YOU WROTE A WINNING STORY SILLY GOOSE!!
on 1/7/2020 10:05:43 AM with a score of 0
This was very different than what I expected. The whole game has a very unique branching style I wish I would see more. This idea was brilliant, and since you are a good writer overall the execution is great as well. Before reading this review you should play the game. That means you, you bitch who reads the reviews before playing the game and gets spoiled on them. TLDR this game is worth playing. Now go play it.
Starting with the idea, this game takes place in a graveyard. Depending on what you take to the graveyard, and what you do with it, you are one of many characters. I like the setting overall, because graveyards are just interesting. I can’t get too much into the idea without describing what the main draw, at least for me, is, and that is…
The branching! I love the branching in this game. Like I said earlier on the first page you pick what you take to the graveyard. You can take a knife, casket, flowers, or a bell. Once you pick your item, you have two options on what to do with it. Then the game is over. Each path is only 3 pages, and what this allows is for the author to create 8 paths, witch are very fleshed out for being 3 pages. All of them felt super complete, and the fact that that is every possible in a game with 9.2k words and 13 pages is astonidening. This game feels like 8 short stories connected only by their setting. While some may not like that, I do.
In conclusion, this game is great. The only thing that I’m unsure about is what to rate it. As much as I want to give it a 7, I don’t feel I can. With this length, it is almost impossible to write something worthy of a 7. There just isn’t enough room to work with to get to the necessary level. Though I will say this game is great, and I hope you continue writing.
on 1/5/2020 6:13:34 PM with a score of 0
All right, Bilbo. That ending I didn't get before. Damn.
on 1/4/2020 2:40:22 PM with a score of 7
This is a delightful collection of mini-stories that somehow all revolve around a graveyard tryst, and manage to stay very distinct from one another.
I can't say I was invested in every story, but definitely the majority of them kept my attention. In particular, the one where you "bring" a casket and emerge as a ghost, I found pretty atmospheric and moving. I was getting into the character's head quite well, putting myself in their shoes when:
"That is you're mother. You're death must have been a great shock to her."
Ack! Come on, your killing me here. Let's be clear though, this is the only time that any errors were this disruptive. The other mini-stories suffer from a few errors too, but they aren't nearly as noticeable.
Back to some more positives, I enjoyed the little interjections of humor that bilbo injected into their story, things you wouldn't necessarily notice if you were just skimming. Lines like: "She smiled and sat against me, crushing my leg in the most pleasant way possible." kept me smiling and intently reading this storygame to completion.
At 9k words, it was short and sweet and didn't necessarily need to be longer. I'd recommend checking it out.
on 1/4/2020 11:59:16 AM with a score of 0
I found this to be a quick, albeit enjoyable read overall. I think the concept is especially interesting, detailing all the different intentions and realities behind visiting a graveyard. The descriptions weren't too dense- which may be seen as a weakness in the sense that there is much less context and detail, but it also contributes to its status as a more casual game with a greater ease of replayability.
Conceptually, I think the story could be improved upon. After my initial completion of the game (taking flowers and winning over the girl you love) I was genuinely surprised by the hidden malicious intent of the narrator, and I wanted to know more about what he did to Arthur, and why. Considering this was my first play-through, I thought those would be answered if I changed some of my choices, but instead was greeted with new characters and new storylines altogether. This doesn't necessarily have to be a weakness, and I like the overall compilation of many perspectives and stories, but it left something to be desired in terms of the depth and richness of these characters. I would have remained more invested in the game if by replaying, you continue to peel back new layers of this story and the darker inner-workings of these characters, eventually completing your journey with the full picture. The multiple stories can still be established, but I feel that they need a greater context to truly be appreciated. As they are now, they seem a little too shallow and uninspired despite their potential.
As for the grammar, there were very few mistakes, though at times the writing seems a little too juvenile. When I was taking note of this, though, (especially in the story where the narrator kills the couple) I thought it could be an interesting choice for the narrator's voice and diction to vary depending on their character. (e.g. Having your younger, more bitter character curse more often and show their immaturity, which you did in the previously mentioned storyline.) However, throughout the many timelines, and after completing every storyline, I felt a bit disappointed by the lack of vocal variation.
Overall, I still found this storygame entertaining and worthwhile. It is a concept with a lot more potential than expressed here, but I hope to see more from the author in the future!
on 1/4/2020 1:33:44 AM with a score of 7