The solar system tastes like chicken

The solar system tastes like chicken is a short science fiction game with leanings towards hyperlink literature.

You play a self-aware sun that, in a distant future, devours her solar system. While doing so, you meditate about the things you wolf to expand your own existence, and how they and you are related. You might decide to wave them as irrelevant, or inspect and analyze them closer before their imminent destruction – but in the end your own behavior is set by nature itself – or isn’t it?

The writing of the short story is – while still clearly the work of an amateur – pretty good, and doesn’t need to hide even (or especially?) in comparison to most of the professional SF stories that I have read in the past few years. While some more reluctance in the placing of real world objects would have further improved it, it is largely free of the cliches, stereotypes and blatancies that tend to make the genre far to often so tiring. Beneath the obvious (but nonetheless spot on) and vocal critic of the capitalist logic of expansion, questions about the free will, the sense of existence in a world without god, and the nature of existence itself are raised. This is SF as it should – in my book – be done. Also, the use of the interactivity isn’t just a nice little extra (a common problem of narrative game design) but an essential part of the artwork and narrative. Chapeau!

The accompanying graphical art is well executed, and helps in creating a dense, melancholic atmosphere – the pictures are detailed, crafty, elegant, and prove a great admiration towards the project. The sound design is despite its moody concreteness mostly unobtrusive, but well used to emphasize peculiar points in the game. Art, game design and story add up to a coherent, tasteful, and overall exquisite experience.

The game is a collective work of a 3-person-team. The main developer did various other games, among them another one done with the illustrator who was active at this project (correction: there is a third one); the writer hasn’t done any other games yet, but is active in the fan-fiction-scene and, according to their profile, open for further collaborations. Its surely worth to check out their stuff and to keep an eye open for future projects of these people.

The game can be played only via Browser. I had to use Chromium to run it on my OpenSuse Thumbleweed, as Firefox didn’t work here (although I can’t say if this wasn’t caused by one of my additional security add-ons, as Twine didn’t caused trouble with FF in the past).

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