Shadows and Blood (or What Is It Like to Be a Vampire Bat)
"Too few ratings to be ranked"
Played 235 times (finished 45)
"Trek through the forest"
"So short yo' momma thought it was a recipe"
"Choking hazard for children under 4"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 6. To compare to the movie rating system, this would be G.
Based Off A True Story
This game is about vampires and the night, about hunting, bloodsucking, and maybe a bit of betrayal. It is also about sharing, reciprocal help, and social bonds. You will take the perspective of a young vampire bat (a Desmodus rotundus, to be precise) and try to maximize your inclusive fitness. Good luck!
General Recommendation: A short and diverting game aiming to teach the player about vampire bats.
Preview: Can you survive in your life as a vampire bat?
Well, I definitely know a lot more about vampire bats than I did before playing this game.
This is a small-scope game aiming to educate the player about a few aspects of the life of a young vampire bat; specifically finding food and the idea of sharing food with other bats.
The progression of the game works well, first you’re dealing with simple issues of survival (selecting the right food source), then you move onto more complex social challenges, such as learning to balance your own food needs with those of your fellow bats.
This might be just me, but I’d be interested to learn more of the science-y things that this story only briefly touches on, such as the math behind altruism. That was an interesting bit of information that only really came up at the end.
-The pictures help here, I imagine most people don’t know exactly what vampire bats look like. Pictures tend to be especially helpful in edutainment or historical games.
-I like the character voice in the clickable links.
-It would be nice to see helping other bats have potential consequence. You can help both your sister and the stranger with no cost to yourself. In real life, there would be some cases where helping another bat would actually put you at a disadvantage, but these situations are not represented in the game. That said, given the game’s small scope, it can only cover so many different scenarios.
-“If only she could take care of himself”.
-Not helping your sister decreases your indirect fitness from a larage-scale perspective, but this doesn’t make any sense as a motivator for an actual bat. Whether or not the narrator’s sister’s genetics pass on to the next generation has pretty much zero impact on how they live their life.
Generally good, there are a few typos.
Mastery of Language:
There aren’t any sentence structure issues, but the writing is just kind of bland. It tells you directly what happened without much else. Part of this is due to the informational style of an edutainment game, but in a amore detailed game it would be nice to see more than just a narrator talking at a reader.
This is a very linear game, with one “victory” ending, and only one choice having an impact on gameplay other than immediate death.
Player Options/fair choice:
The fair choice for this game is a little TOO fair. It’s pretty clear in advance what the outcome of each decision is going to be.
This isn’t an issue for this game, but as you develop your writing skills, one area to work on is in presenting choices and actions to the player in a more immersive way. Right now you’re directly addressing the player as “you”, and giving them a direct question at the bottom of each page. This style works good in short edutainment games like this, but if you plan to move to longer or more character-based stories, it will instead serve to seperate the player from the narrator and prevent reader immersion.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I got the victory ending after dying once of being too lazy to go home.
I imagine this was probably a class project? If so, it’s a fairly good one.
CONCLUSION: A well-constructed game for its scope and scale.
on 3/17/2022 9:11:33 AM with a score of 0
Did you know that all vampire bats have false teeth? That’s right! They come out at night.
This is a charming story about regurgitating blood into your relative’s mouths to sustain them, much like how Thara feeds Cricket and I. Also experience the nightmare of one of the images loading after the page does, showing you the sable undersides of a swarm of blood sucking bats clambering over one another.
-This story is very informative and taught me about a theory of some sort of natural selection relating to kindness, which was really interesting.
-Visual aids, especially the graphs, were appropriately used and worked well.
-There we’re no grammatical nor spelling mistakes as far as I could see, well done.
-I can only really call the writing competent and concise, but the narrator comments were somewhat amusing.
Things to improve:
-There is no interesting description. All I’m told is that the blood I drink tastes ‘good’: if you want this to be more interesting to read add some similes, metaphors, anything. Plainly: the description is banal and boring, which I don’t know how you managed when you’re writing about vampire bats. I understand you’ve added pictures which helps relieve this a little, but the rest of what you’ve written is pretty good and I want to see what you can do with description.
-This story is ridiculously linear: choosing the wrong path almost instantly gets you killed and there are no alternate endings. Some choices you make, such as choosing whether to feed your sibling at first, seem to have no effect on what happens from what I can tell (although I’ve only played the game three times). Why even include them when we could simply skip to the interesting educational stuff at the end?
Overall this is a great first story which serves its purpose and the author clearly has some skill so I’m interested to see what they’ll write after this.
on 11/24/2021 12:01:07 PM with a score of 0
I am now an honorary Desmodus rotundus.
This is a solid attempt at an edutainment game. Playing through the eyes of a vampire bat is a point of view not commonly seen, so I was a bit intrigued as to how it would play out. The tidbits of information and facts you provided were in fact interesting (I've yet to hear of Hamilton's rule until today). Now onto the story itself...
Unique as the topic may be, in the end, it is still a story told from the perspective of a wild animal with little to no agency. Of course, there isn't much to expect from the premise, so I wasn't really disappointed with the short and simple outcome, considering my expectations were fairly low from the beginning. That being said, readers shouldn't expect a complete plot (though there's always conflict found in survival, such as finding food) or fleshed-out characters. You can interact with your siblings and other vampire bats, but there's not much development because, in the end, this is in fact an educational story about wild animals with little to no agency.
What I did dislike was how linear the story was - most of the options that you choose that the author deems "bad" lead to an End Game link, forcing you to click the right options and not permitting you to branch out and make your own choices. I would prefer there be actual choices instead of "You did this instead of that. Whoops! You're dead." I get that there probably isn't an insane amount of room to branch out in an educational animal story, but surely there are some different decisions to make that won't just end in your demise. As such I don't see why the LIFE variable was needed; variables don't serve much of a purpose in this-or-that games where one wrong choice kills you almost instantly.
I will say that the writing isn't terrible, but there just isn't enough. Some pages have a sentence or two at most. It's almost frustrating at times because what I /do/ read is actually decent, and I would love to see such writing used on a longer piece instead of something that ends in the blink of an eye. I would've enjoyed more detail, more description to engross me in this batty world.
All in all I think that this was an alright attempt at an edutainment story, but I feel that you would do much better with a longer work down the line - maybe something with, y'know, a plot and characters. I did enjoy learning more about the world of the vampire bat, but the lack of decision-making and agency kills it a little. For the effort, I'll give this a 3/8.
on 11/22/2021 12:55:47 PM with a score of 0
This was really good! Loved it!
on 12/20/2021 1:17:49 PM with a score of 0
A randome short bat game(like less than 10min)
on 12/2/2021 5:02:00 PM with a score of 0
I didn't even sparkle during the day.
on 11/29/2021 3:00:24 PM with a score of 0
I had hopes of coming in here and getting more of a story than a straight up death by slide show presentation. There are areas that could be improved, but your basic understanding of grammar is there.
I get that it's just a bat, but personification is a very basic literary tool that helps readers engage with non-human characters. Instead of fully explaining how everything works, bring in some story aspects. An example of this would be instead of saying "The bat came over and rubbed your lips to request some blood because blah blah blah", make it "Although she is not my relative, she appeared weak and on the edge of death. I decided to share my meal for the night with her blah blah blah". Just that can have the reader more engaged at a basic level.
Overall, I like how you chose to go with edutainment, mainly due to no one really using it, and it was a cute little adventure. Add some more writing tools and you'll do much better.
on 11/24/2021 10:29:52 PM with a score of 0
It's better than I expected, but then most things would be.
on 11/24/2021 8:25:14 AM with a score of 0
loved the writing style and how i was constantly judged :D
— rasim on 11/23/2021 10:31:45 AM with a score of 0
It's sort of cute, but teeters on the edge of minimum number of choices/content required for a game on this site, at least in my mind. Gonna err on the side of 3.
on 11/23/2021 12:12:41 AM with a score of 0
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