Player Comments on Breaker
This is a very good story with an interesting setting and premise. I think this would especially be well recommended to younger readers who like speculative fiction, the ocean, or both. I know I would have loved this story when I was in middle school. That’s not to say, of course, that I didn’t enjoy it now, but the writing is clearly intended for a younger audience.
Before I analyze it, I would also like to express my admiration for the story, because it is genuinely good writing. It’s like I’m critiquing a Van Gogh while sketching stick figures on a napkin. I’m compelled to finish though.
Positive points. As I mentioned, the setting is extremely interesting. At the bottom of the ocean in the Bermuda Triangle. The concept of sentient life on the sea floor is one that is full of potential, but not explored nearly enough.
The world building that was done is phenomenal. Although the exposition is given largely in a long, dry description in the museum. We are given two distinct political factions with well defined goals and methods. In addition, the differences of living underwater versus on land are executed phenomenally.
The characters of the story were also handled quite well. There were plenty of moments in which the characters were given time to shine. Whether it was an emotional scene or one full of action, none of the characters that are of any import are left without a characterizing moment.
The plot was a classic coming of age plot delightfully confounded by a quest. It’s a go to for young adult novels, and with good reason. In addition, apart from the very long researching binge in the museum, none of the space used to tell the story feels wasted. It is, in practically all respects.
There were enough typos that it was noticeable, but I’m not OCD, so it was fine. Some words are used wrongly or awkwardly (ie. High jacked should be hijacked). It is also difficult to really get a feel for how old the protagonist acts. Sometimes the dialogue seems overly wise or proper for her age, but other times, it seems very immature. The same goes for her friend, Lindy. Her characterization seems all over the place. In her room, when we first meet her, she seems timid and shy. At school, she seems to switch between shy and brave at a moment’s notice. I may have just been interpreting her character wrong, but she seemed quite inconsistent. I will say, to Mystic’s benefit, that none of the adult characters seem to suffer from the same problem.
Plot. As far as plot goes, there are a few points where things seem overly complicated. The two specific examples that I remember is the ploy to steal the key after calling the police. It’s just a bit much. When I see it in my head, there’s no way the whole voice changer thing really works in that scenario. Her voice would still be audible, and why would the commander send her for the key anyway? In addition, going that route, you also get Keybreaker back again on the roof. I had two Keybreakers, and that’s probably not intentional.
The whole concept of the Breakers, and especially the Lawbreakers seemed a little counterintuitive. They were supposed to break the bad parts of society to make a better one, but they spent so much time trying to get to the surface? I suppose they thought the One’s above would fix everything, but still, nobody seems to have a coherent plan for a good society. The Lawbreakers are especially ridiculous as they are encouraged to have no discipline. I wouldn’t want to depend on the Breakers.
In summary, this is a great YA story with an engaging plot that just needs a little more polish. I’m not a bit disappointed.
on 11/28/2022 11:11:24 PM with a score of 0
Holy moly, let me start by saying this was a seriously awesome story. For all those reading this comment, play this game if you haven't already! I highly recommend it, and it certainly deserves more ratings and comments for all the work and passion that has been put in.
It would seem to me like Mystic has found an interesting blend between "story" and "game" with a great understanding of how to incorporate both dynamically into a unified storygame engine. Puzzles were often engaging and innovative, leaving me satisfied whenever I managed to crack them. I particularly enjoyed the aspect where you had to examine the story for clues yourself. It really put "you" into the story, and gives one that blissful feeling of accomplishment and progression that I personally love in these games. A lot of the time humor revolves around the people of Safe World's poor interpretations of retrieved items that have been cast down by the Ones Above, which definitely earned a few giggles from me. Dialogue between characters mostly seems natural and fluid. Overall, the quality of writing I can only praise.
(Light spoilers from here on out:)
My biggest and pretty much sole gripe is that the game seems to fall away from its promises with the later chapters.
The very beginning of the game allows you to grow accustomed to the world you have just been thrust into through the mind and eyes of a child— a suitable way to introduce a variety of concepts in a way that is simple enough for, well, a child to understand. This kind of entertaining and informative exposition paves the way to the next two chapters. I particularly liked how you added depth to our main character and the world simultaneously through the addition of the library and museum. Any lacking development in our best friend is quickly done away with in the next chapter as we go through the school day, a series of challenges being foreshadowed, and the numerous options to overcome those obstacles.
However, from then on out it gets a little rocky (Heavier spoilers upcoming). I liked the time limit placed on our character as we prepare our escape, the tension building, the chaotic battle to escape Safeworld, exploring the breaker brother-sister team combo and their background, many areas of the hideout, all that jazz. It was quickly decided I was to be a breaker and enterer. From there, the fourth chapter went by in a blur. I was launched immediately into a mission that didn't entirely explain itself away. It probably had something to do with being only a page long. The other paths probably had far more content, and I understand that this was made under the time restraints of a contest, but it still would have been neat to further explore the path that I now had no way of going back and changing.
So (MEGA Spoilers ahead), after my page-long "stole a car" escapade, the resolution of the story was quickly rushing to meet me in the fifth chapter. It was... not quite disappointing, but a little less than satisfactory. It seemed that the culmination of all my previous decisions had little weight to any of my provided choices, which were along the lines of "Remain true to your path or take over and lead by your rules."
I went back to experience both, and both felt a little lame. Neither had a necessarily "good" ending I would say, not that I really needed one to have left happy. I believe this slightly rushed ending was sadly brought about by the time crunch of needing to finish up a project before a deadline. Despite all of that, I still found myself walking away from the game pleased enough with myself and the story. The only reason I find myself offering up areas to improve upon is that I want this story to be the best that it can be, and for the author to strive in improving upon their work. While I normally might just highlight what I enjoyed and leave it at that, I hope that I could adequately address both my love for this story and my desire to see it shaped into its potential greatness.
Terrific job. It is a must that I check out your other story sometime soon.
on 12/4/2020 12:34:55 PM with a score of 0
This is a very well-conceived storygame! Enjoyable and well-written!
Although the story is built off a well-known framework -- the young person on the verge of adulthood bored at the prospects being offered to her, wishing for something more exciting to happen -- the world in which "Breakers" is set is unique, and the tale is engaging.
To be sure, this is a long story, with a lengthy prologue and five chapters. It took me several hours to read it to the end, spread out over several sessions. But it struck me as a good YA-oriented interactive novel, far above average in terms of quality for stories on CYS.
I rated this an 8, simply because the writing was good and story clearly took much effort to create. But is it perfect? There are a few minor things I'll point out, mostly on a writer-to-writer basis.
In the prologue, which was very action-packed, there was a tendency to rely on the phrase "all of the sudden" a bit too much. This is a perfectly valid phrase, I suppose, but also cliched -- all the more so when it appears on the same page multiple times. I encourage MW to develop a more unique way to introduce a quick, unexpected action. Happily, I don't recall seeing "all of the sudden" anywhere else in the story.
Th puzzles in Chapter 1 were easy but engaging. However, once I advanced to Ch. 2 it was a bit of a let-down to simply roam the museum and library without given much a mission. This is where a lot of the world-building occurs, although the reader has to be self-motivated to seek out the information. It might have been better if Emeza and Lindy had to go to these venues to seek out clues on how to locate the Breakers.
Ch. 3 has its fair share of action, although it begins quite slowly -- basically, going step-by-step through the school day before the fun stuff occurred.
Ch. 4 seems to be building up to a final showdown in Ch. 5... but when you get there, you... well, I won't spoil anything, but Ch. 5 might've been a victim of the contest deadline.
Nevertheless this is a good story, somewhat off the charts in terms of a typical storygame on CYS. I hope it finds an audience and achieves great success!
on 8/19/2020 7:27:21 PM with a score of 0
I- holy schist. I can't put into words how good this was
on 4/23/2022 12:46:19 AM with a score of 0
it was great! I loved it~
— Rocio Uranga on 1/6/2022 6:00:45 PM with a score of 0
it was bad
— greyhound on 9/13/2021 10:08:05 PM with a score of 0
A well written story the only problem for me however was that there were several infinity loops I had difficulty navigating.
on 6/4/2021 10:11:34 AM with a score of 0
After reading both epilogues (unless there are more of them?), the story felt somewhat incomplete - like we never got that big ending the story was setting us up for.
The idea for the story was really interesting (if not a bit too ambitious), but not executed in the best possible manner. I'm not sure how old the author is or if English is even their first language, but I also felt the story didn't flow all that well. It felt choppy at times and a lot of pages were filled with dispensable dialogues, descriptions and way too many references to books, characters, phrases of the "Ones Above" like we constantly needed to be reminded that the story was taking place in an underwater world and not on the surface/land. While I understand the author's intent behind the idea of trying to immerse us in this new world, it actually had the opposite effect on me. I couldn't get into the story and felt it only served to slow down the pace. Details are great, but only when used where/when it matters, like fleshing out characters beside the protagonist.
To sum up, the idea of blue people living underwater was great and full of potential, but leaves a lot of room for improvement and I believe that's what matters - to keep improving. Keep it up! :)
on 4/9/2021 3:50:36 PM with a score of 0
Rarely does a story handle variables, items, scripting, and writing with success. This one excels in all categories. It's the perfect blend of story and game. And it gets better: the storygame itself is large enough to warrant use of the aforementioned things. Mystic's exploded onto the scene with two large stories published recently. I'm looking forward to whatever she puts out next.
on 8/23/2020 12:30:23 PM with a score of 0