Maybe you’ve never heard of Twine before. Maybe you’re just trying to find the right way to introduce friends to Twine games. Either way, I’ve put together a short list of some Twines that are interesting, innovative, and really showcase some of the aspects of the medium.
What is Twine?
Twine is an engine used for creating interactive fiction that utilizes a simple graphical interface so the author can create linking nodes. Because Twine games can be relatively simple to create (designed with a writer’s sensibilities in mind), there is plenty of room for experimentation. There are a myriad of different ways for Twine to be implemented, and the possibilities for stories are endless. These three games are simply a taste of what is out there, from three very talented writers.
Here are my suggestions for three Twine games to introduce the medium to new people:
Created by developer Anna Anthropy (also known as Auntie Pixelante) Queers in Love at the End of the World is a game about finality, limited time, and love. There are only ten seconds left, and you are with your lover. What do you do to express how you feel? With options ranging from simple profound silence to trying to feel everything left to feel, the game is infinitely playable and always a fascinating work.
It’s on this list for a couple of reasons. With its brevity, it’s a simple game to introduce people to the medium. The game is 10 seconds long, so there is not a huge time commitment. It is also fantastically written, with options for almost every type of affection you’d want to express. The game is also technically sound, showcasing some of the possibilities of Twine without being too daunting for a beginner.
You can play the game at Auntie Pixelante’s site.
This is usually one of the first games I show people when introducing them to Twine. Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha is not the best game Porpentine has made, but it is my personal favorite. In the game you play pop-star Kesha as she fights off crowds of haters, and finally, faces off against the Alpha Hater. The spirit of the game is powered on by the Kesha song “Warrior,” and it’s just plain fun. if you look, there’s a deeper message that can be found about personal taste and hipster hatred of pop-culture, and I’ve used the game to point out when someone is going too far with their pop-culture hatred.
This game is included on the list for a few reasons. Porpentine has made several fantastic games, including Love is Zero and mutant heat, but I wouldn’t include them on this list because of their themes. Mutant heat gets into gore, sex, and violence; Love is Zero has a few trigger warnings as well. Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha does not, and that makes it a good introductory Twine game. The game is also technically proficient, showcasing the talent that Porpentine has utilized over and over again to cement herself as the foremost Twine developer on the scene.
It’s also the game that got me interested in Twine games to start off with. You can play Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha on Porpentine’s Tumblr.
Dan Waber’s work a Kiss is an older hyptertext story that is probably best known for the node map I’ve pictured on the left. Whenever you look up Twine games on Google, you’ll usually catch site of Waber’s intense node-map. A Kiss is a novel-length Twine game about the simple titular moment — a kiss.
You navigate the game by picking different moments within that kiss, Waber is a poet and a writer first, and that really shows in the skill-level of his writing. While the technical benefits of having such a diversity of choices, the game would be nothing without the expertise of his writing.
It’s a good introduction because like Queers in Love, a Kiss can be played for as long as you are interested. The game can be relatively short, or you could spend hours going through original, unique content as some users have. It’s an excellent introduction to the medium for those reasons and many more.
You can check out the game at Dan Waber’s website.
There are many more Twine games out there, and if you have any suggestions for Twine’s I may have missed or overlooked, feel free to let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.