Review of "Photograph"

Photograph is a Z-code 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2002 by Steve Evans. At the 2002 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in both the Best Individual PC and Best Use of Medium categories.

Review by David Welbourn

Another game with a slow start, because the PC won't (or can't) move. This is an annoying way to begin a game, but like Constraints, it has its reasons, and in retrospect, it couldn't begin any other way.

The PC, is an old man in an old cabin. Old, and unloved. A coot. He is obsessed with looking at a photograph, a photograph that pictures the key moment of his life. That one moment on which his whole life pivoted, and his life changed for the worse. You'll explore this memory, and learn why it means so much to him. And there are other memories to explore as well, so you'll learn about who this old man was when he was a younger man, and when he was a boy. Together, these memories paint a powerful portrait of this man's life.

And then, back as the old man, slowly, things begin to turn full circle. Past kindnesses paid in the past begin to reap unexpected dividends. But it always goes back to the photograph, until it is the sole focus of attention. We have returned to the paralysis of the opening. And...

You'll just have to play it to find out what happens next.

Rating: 9.

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.