Cry Wolf

Clare Parker (2008)

In Cry Wolf you play a veterinarian who is confronted with helping an injured wolf in the dead of night, but the story has a few twists as the plot unfolds. It's told over five acts, that have a real symmetry as they go from night to day and back to night, and the writing is wonderful, creating some vivid imagery even if there are a few typos.

The game is long; it took me over four hours to finish, but I did get hung up on one of the puzzles pretty early on. There are also a few bugs. I even found a conversation menu that stalled out, and so you might want to save at the beginning of each act. Also, some of the rooms are reused, but a lot of the objects don't update for the current time of day; and there are even a few sudden deaths, but all of those can be undone. The game is pretty ambitious, with a lot of code that needs tightening up.

The structure of the game is pretty standard IF in the first three acts, you'll need to get past a handful of puzzles while talking to a few characters. But the last two acts really becomes a series of conversation menus that have a lot of black and white choices. The game could have used a bit more subtlety here, with a few responses that could be a little grayer, giving the game a bit more depth and the players a little more agency.

I really liked this game. It's not perfectly executed, but it sets up some nice scenes, and it created an atmosphere that drew me in. The last two acts break away from the IF standard, but they help fill in the rest of the story, even though you see a lot of it coming. The game could use a bit more polish, but there is a game here, unlike a lot of the entries we've seen this year that took under an hour to finish. It's enjoyable and the story is fully flushed out. If you haven't played it already, I think you'll like this one. It really worked for me.