The first game I looked at was “With Those We Love Alive”. I actually really enjoyed this one. The story was a bit confusing but as I went through it I found myself more and more invested in it and how the story would play out. I loved the attention to detail in some areas that didn’t have any significance to the plot but were still very descriptive on how things looked. There were some powerful images as well. I’m not sure where exactly I found it but at one point I stumbled across the sight of an angel’s corpse, which is a very powerful message to convey. As well as multiple references to other dead people or corpses,
“Pale, shriveled humans sleep forever on the floor. Pipes run from their heads into iron barrels.”
“Death jungle chokes the land to the north. To the south, ashen wasteland. A dead person is sitting on the balcony, swinging their legs.”
Also, as you go through the story some of the scenes will change. Such as after you make the Empress a weapon, if you go into the throne room there will be the option to view whatever weapon you chose to make her. Another component of the story is that based on your choices, the character will draw different symbols on their body. Some that I remember were; shame, relationship with the chasm, insight, and more. I noticed the main way to progress through the story was just to go to sleep until the next part unravels.
I didn’t enjoy “Howling Dogs: Room” as much as I did the other one. However, after noticing a mention of an empress in that story as well, I went back and noticed that the two were actually made by the same person, which is something I didn’t notice before. They both were stories made using twine, and they definitely have similarities but the stories were very different. “Howling Dogs: Room” is mostly about a person who seems to be trapped in a very boring life, just barely scraping by with the minimum. On top of that, it seems like the character is living through an artificial world through the use of VR. An interesting aspect of this is that the player isn’t allowed to continuously using the VR machine unless you guide them to eat and drink first, forcing you to constantly go back in forth if you want to continue. I also find this interesting because this machine is forcing the character to keep themself alive if they want to continue going into the virtual reality.