The King's Music Box
Commended by TharaApples on 4/5/2022 12:23:17 PM
"Too few ratings to be ranked"
Played 169 times (finished 23)
"Walk in the park"
"A nice jog down the driveway"
"Must be at least this tall to play"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 10. If this were a movie, it would probably be between G and PG.
For Corgi's Lords of the Realms contest.
Learn the secrets of your family's power and decide what to do when it's in your hands.
(Note: Decisions may not be appearing in this version of the game, wait for the DLC.)
General Recommendation: As long as you don’t mind the fact that this is incomplete, what is here is well written and quite intriguing.
Preview: What will the puzzles of the music box, a mysterious family heirloom, reveal about your heritage?
This game is a promising start. It jumps straight into an intriguing mystery surrounding the royal line of succession and a family heirloom, slowly building the mystery by presenting the player with clues and information about the box, the narrator’s family, and the king’s ring, building the plot.
And then it just… ends.
It’s tough to come up with more to say about this game. It’s clearly incomplete, more so than most of the other games in the contest, which all finished at least one branch. I cna’t make any comments about foreshadowing, narrative craft, or character development, because none of these things have had a chance to play out. I shall be forced to leave this review equally incomplete.
The tone of the game is well done. It captures a particular style of adventure, exploration, and mystery that few other games on this site do. It’s a very specific tone often encountered in stories aimed at younger audiences, and I always enjoy running across works that recaptures this tone.
-The narrator is well-characterized right off the bat, with his decription of the room surrounding him, his desires, and his reflection on the situation he finds himself in. His age comes across naturally through his narration and actions.
-The presentationg of the music box is well done.
-Lol, “you can’t think of anything, so after a while you just figure out the puzzles on your own instead.”
-This game is a little reminiscent of Imagination, in terms of its adventerous and whimsical tone. It’s fun.
-Brazen and Gale are well named.
-The various character’s voices are quite well written. They each have a distinctive style, and many of their inner motivations and thoughts are hinted at through their dialogue choices.
Mastery of Language
Quite good, the sentences all flow together and streamline the reading process.
Can’t be judged yet, since it’s not finished. What’s here so far is fairly linear.
Player Options/fair choice:
Pretty good, though most of the options eventually lead to the same place.
CONCLUSION: 5/8 for incompleteness. I’ll probably come back and re-rate re-comment on this once it’s done.
on 4/12/2022 8:06:53 AM with a score of 0
This story is colorful and brimming with potential, and it's annoying that the rest of it isn't there, because I really like this first bit. It's like seeing a really well-carved foot or elbow, but without the rest of the statue. I'm not sure how you would just carve an elbow, actually.
Dammit! This story sort of reminds me in an odd way of Now You've Got to Deal with This S***, in that the game itself is about stories. That one was a bunch of stories that, Canterbury Tales-like, is a bunch of tales with some connective tissue linking them; this one is more connected, with the four narratives actually having thematic connections, and sort of having resonance in the end with the dying king, but the big theme is the same--encountering a series of unexpected stories and adventures.
But it's also--and this is the part I liked best--about writing these dastardly things we call interactive storygames.
"you imagine for a moment that you were a character in a storybook, and how there might potentially be a series of major puzzles for the reader to solve right at this point... You can't think of anything, and so after awhile you just figure out the puzzles on your own instead."
Well, yeah. Exactly. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to solve my writing problems like that. "And then the hero goes and does some cool stuff, and you're totally entertained." I laughed. And--look, I know that your game was rushed because I listened to you talking about you rushing this thing, but hear me out--in a weird sort of way, the fact that the choices you make at the start devolve into one story and what keys you press don't matter and whether you share your dinner doesn't matter to the overall story--it kind of works thematically. It's the writer saying goddamn it, cool interactive stuff happens here, just figure it out and imagine it. So whether on purpose or not, you ended up creating an interesting thematic element, which, I guess, you sort of lucked into. I like it.
OK, writing-wise, I'll tell you typos later, but style-wise, another week of polishing would have helped you so much. Little stuff like "you insist with a sigh" -- closely followed by "he says with a grave sigh" or bits that are too formulaic like "an intense gaze and a deeply furrowed brow" or bits that feel a little limp like "He is doing that poorly then? I thought so, from the way the servants looked." Once you get into the adventures, the writing picks up and gets more vivid. Maybe that's on purpose too? Sure it is.
All in all, I liked it. I like elbows just fine. It's a good elbow.
on 4/3/2022 12:43:02 PM with a score of 0
"With his long grey beard and bushy eyebrows he looks a great deal like the wizards in your old storybooks, but of a kindly nature, while the storybook wizards are always evil and conniving like the ones your grandfather once defended the kingdom from."
Tell me about bait and switch. To summarize, while the king is on his death bed, the king's grandson gets handed a music box and travels to the different realms of magic. He realizes that the king was not the hero he was depicted to be and the wizards were not very bad people after all. It turns out that he stole the magic from those realms.
There is a lot to praise here in this last-minute story Mizal has cooked up. The environments of each realm are really vividly described and convey a childlike wonder of adventure one would want in a story written for children. The characters like the crab or the wizard king made each a very lasting impression despite their short runtime. The only realm that was a little lacking was the earth realm.
In the other realms there was a lot of time spent setting up the tone and overall mood of the story by the ennvironmental descriptions and the main character simply wandering around in the realm. In the earth realm, this description felt a little bare bones (perhaps due to time constraints) and thus it failed a little to set up the rising tension and the growing unsease of the main character.
And finally, can we praise how well information is conveyed in the story. The most brilliant one was the crab, who will actually turn hostile when you choose for him to take a closer look at you. At first it seems very odd that the crab spouts "I smell his blood in you", making him seem kind of unhinged. Yeah, that was my first death in my first playthrough. It quite brilliantly sets up a kind of unease and the feeling that these creatures are for some reason pretty hostile to you, but also sets up this intrique and the question: what actually has happened.
I found it rather clever that not all of the inhabitants of the realm chose to call the player's grandfather by name. The game forces you to just puzzle these kind of clues yourself. If one thinks about it, it makes kind of sense. The grandfather was still young at the time he made his travels, of course some of the inhabitants would still refer to him as "the young prince" instead of "king".
Innocuous details like the player's missing father, also come back im full force, which is kind of satisfying to see.
However, one big criticism and glaring offence is that it is as linear as a ruler. There are many "fake choices" and such and only one ending. So I hope that the author will later come back to the story to expand on it a little.
Because to be honest, it was a pretty nice read. Great job Mizal working with the time you have! I hope that you will come back to write larger stories in the forseeable future.
on 3/31/2022 9:15:06 AM with a score of 0
I totally enjoyed reading this story and am disappointed that it was not yet complete. It definitely left me wanting more. I thought the writing was great. It was descriptive but not overly wordy. The story seemed well paced and moved through the scenes appropriately.
I also liked how the story led me into its world organically instead of just hitting me with a data dump of setting. The narrative was suitably descriptive and left me wanting to explore it more without bogging the story down.
I thought the characters were pretty well developed, Even the sub characters, such as the tutor that brought him the box, seemed developed even with their limited screen time.
As for Ceri, I felt that although I got to understand him a little, the type of person that he is will be shaped by the choices that he makes, especially with regard to the ring. Sometimes in CYA stories, certain choices seem “ out of character”, but I like that Ceri does not yet appear to be encumbered by that, and is free to develop based upon future choices.
The major negatives of the story seem to be a result of it being not quite finished. It was very linear even on some of the pages that had multiple choices, such as what side of the box on which to turn the keys. It didn’t really matter they all led to the same place.
I would have liked to know more about the void realm where the grandfather got the ring. It wasn’t a destination from the music box. And really, the origin of the music box also. Why is this the method to travel between realms?
Also, when Ceri found out it was his dad chained to the statue for all these years, he seemingly did not have a problem just moving on to explore the next realm. I would expect some greater emotional response from him.
Of course I want to know if he smashes the ring, and what the fallout entails.
Overall , I enjoyed this story and felt it was well written. Hopefully, I will get to see it complete.
on 4/13/2022 10:10:01 PM with a score of 0
This was a very nice Fantasy story-game, so my biggest regret was that it wasn't longer. For starters though, let me list some places where you would probably want to make few textual corrections. "But the king is stil in the castle" should be "But the king is still in the castle." "Raising your head, see a man standing beside a throne" should be "Raising your head, you see a man standing beside a throne." "I just wanted to be able to follow my dreams without him being able to say anyting about it" should be "VI just wanted to be able to follow my dreams without him being able to say anything about it." And "I've very broken up" should be "I'm very broken up."
Anywho, this CYOA has a wonderful fairytale quality to it and I enjoyed being able to explore the different worlds based on the four elements. In a way, it kind of reminded me of a 1984 BBC TV miniseries called "The Box of Delights," which was based on a 1935 Fantasy novel of the same name by John Masefield. But in that story, the boy can use the magic box he's been given to travel through time and into storybooks. But, as I already said, my only real regret was the CYOA's brevity. I hope you consider writing a much more in-depth version of this if you can. Mizal, I can always trust you to give us the quality Fantasy.
on 4/9/2022 11:05:27 PM with a score of 0
I became King.
It was great.
on 4/5/2022 12:21:55 PM with a score of 0
love it! :3
— Bliss on 4/5/2022 12:30:44 AM with a score of 0
I proudly present that this story is better that a peanut Butter delight coated with chocolate and carefully placed in a silver wrapper. This is the best story in the "Batch, as Darius said" And I have not looked at the winners yet but If you don't win I think there was a mistake. All I can say is DAMN. I love the detail and how many paths there were, overall 9/10!
on 4/4/2022 8:27:48 AM with a score of 0
The author paints a very interesting world, which is impressive given the procrastination and last minute effort to get this published on time. Who doesn't like stepping through a mirror into magical realms?
My only major complaint is that the game—at least for the path I took (although I don't see much option for anything else, unless the order of choices matters)— doesn't actually seem to have an ending. It ends right before the climax, it seems.
Still, the characters were interesting, and while there isn't much by way of catharsis at the end, SPOILERS!!!! at least the grandfather acknowledges the ways in which he kind of screwed you and the kingdom over. I would have liked to have seen how the protagonist fixes the problem, but my it just wasn't in the cards for my play through.
Nevertheless, there is much to be said about creating an interesting world, with unique magical rules and lore. And that makes this one worth reading.
on 4/1/2022 7:31:41 AM with a score of 0
on 3/31/2022 3:53:47 PM with a score of 0
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