The Sons of the Cherry

Alex Livingston (2010)

The Sons of the Cherry is a CYOA game written in Hypertext and not an interactive fiction game. So Iím a little on the fence about this. The writing is good, itís like reading a book, and took me 30 minutes to get through all the text. But could it have been done better in IF? I think that a lot of people are going to be asking themselves this question.

In this game youíre framed for witchcraft, trying to escape a village that wants to hang you. But your benefactor encourages you to follow down that same road. This is where your choices begin. But I feel that hypertext is limiting and you donít have the ability to play around with spells like you do in Sorcerer, where you can try out different commands on stuff seeing what works and playing around with the game. Thatís half the fun of IF, seeing what the interpreter is going to come back with. And if itís a default response, youíll feel itís a failed IF game.

The story here reveals another view of American history, where those who practice witchcraft want to be free in this nation as much as the Christians who persecute them. It was handled well, but playing something like this is nothing like IF. There is no sense of accomplishment other than youíre done. Itís just too much like reading a book. Not that reading a book is a bad thing; but if I want to read a book, Iíll just pick up one of the many I have lying around the apartment and curl up on the couch with a warm cup of coffee.

Sons of the Cherry isnít what anyone in this competition will be expecting, but there are a few that might enjoy it due to the richness of the story. If found it limiting, and even though it would have made for a big game, it would have been more rewarding to complete if it was written in something like Inform. I found scoring it hard based on my criteria, and scored it a 7.