Review of "MythTale"

MythTale is a Z-code 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2002 by Temari Seikaiha.

Review by David Welbourn

MythTale is structured like a patchwork quilt. Many pieces are sewn together, but the seams show. It begins with you on a frozen mountainside, in ancient times, searching for treasure – but then you wake up. You were dreaming. You are actually at home, working on an IF game, but your notes have mysteriously disappeared. Whenever you obtain one of your lost pages, the main game shifts control to a self-contained vignette, where you must re-enact a Greek mythic tale. And then you're back home again, as if you've had nothing more than a vivid daydream. Once you've found all your notes, you return to the world of your original dream (reminiscing, I suppose), and conclude that story.

I enjoyed all the myth/dream sequences, short as they were, and I loved the village in the endgame. Vivid, with a delicious choice of winning endings. The endgame and myths were easily the best parts of the game.

The modern day house is less wonderful. You have many cats, but you can't pet or touch any of them. In fact, they seem to own you, rather than the reverse, which means you're something of a wuss. The house feels sketchy. Lots of "That's just scenery", and the bathroom description refers to your washing machine, but there's no place for one in the house.

There's a major unexplained issue: How did your pages get to all those weird places they end up in? And why? Like in Screen, this is more unexplained magic, and it's not good writing to just leave it like that. Give us an explanation, however implausible. Just... not as implausible as that cat feeder gadget, if you please.

Rating: 7.

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.