And through a lack of planning and observation I slightly under-estimated the RSS feed. But now all should be safe, click past the cut to read the full review.
Short Version: A very short and completely unremarkable game unless you happen to type "about".
Number of Beers Consumed to Cope with Social Anxiety Today: 7
I played entirely through "Freedom" (signed Anonymous) in approximately 15 minutes, all of which I was waiting for some twist. It never happened, there was no joke, no explanation. You start in a barely described, barely implemented apartment, then walk through a barely described and barely implemented city block and check items off a task list. The winning action was completely unclued. Then I read the "about" text:
"Freedom" is intended to create the experience of suffering from social anxiety disorder. It's a sort of "worst case scenario" in that everything a socially anxious person fears comes true; everyone yells at you, everyone hates you, no one cares if you're run down in the middle of the street.Which is neat, this is just the sort of thing IF could achieve wonderfully... except that none of that "worst case scenario" stuff really happens in the game, which leads me to believe that the author's writing was hyper-informed by her condition. The stuff that actually happened in the game happens to me nearly every day-- it's not a worst-case scenario, it's every day life. It is every day life presented so neutrally that no fear, or emotion at all is communicated. But that is what social anxiety is all about: being mortified by every-day encounters, and self-editing to the extreme to compensate.
If you're wondering why this game was submitted anonymously, read this note again
This work is extremely minimalist, and I did not notice any bugs or spelling errors, but I know the author is capable of fleshing this out, and I really hope she does. If the very same idea were rewritten and the repetitious, maddening gibbering and fearful internal-monologue that really goes on when you are certain that every wayward glance, every exchange with a stranger, every movement is a testament to how horribly things are about to go... and the shape of the text turned into an equation ending in... well... nothing, nothing happens after all. That would perhaps be closer to what the author intended us to feel.
Please, anonymous author. Please, please please rewrite this and really show us the way you see the world, don't hold back. It may be scary, and people may say mean things about it, but it could be cathartic... and at least, then, people will have really heard you.