watch me hollow my cheeks around it.
I played the game multiple times, something I rarely do with Twine games. But each ending felt like a different entity, a moment carved out in some broad extraterrestrial world crafted into five minute segments that go down like mercury – smooth and violent.
To return to the initial analogy, Twine is to traditional parser IF as poetry is to prose. This isn’t the case all the time, with works like the Great Red Dragon that fall in the direction towards parser IF, traditional adventures re-imagined in an interesting way. Works like the Sixth Sleep and Love is Zero seem to fall into this poetry like mode. They reach a persistent rhythm. A sensation that rises like spoken word from the page, that permeates the text and establishes a mood. Prose is capable of this, and certainly these works still manage to craft a story while simultaneously existing in this manner.
The Sixth Sleep is solid science fiction, wrapped in a poetic tone, with plenty of choices that actually matter. A slight deviation near the beginning can completely change both the tone and direction of your story, resulting in a chance meeting, a transmutation, death, etc. The weight of your decisions gives them more interest than casually deciding how your character feels in that situation.
Your alien millipede queen, her multitude of arms moving her present heft through tunnels, goes beyond feeling and into existing. It’s little wonder that days later, I think of her.