April 2, 2014 8:30 PM | Lena LeRay
Most Twine games are short, but Javy Gwaltney has put together a horror Twine game with the word count of a novel. Branching storylines mean you won't be seeing all 90,000+ words in one play through, but it's given the author plenty of room to put together a story that perfectly captures, to use the author's own words, "Schlocky sci-fi and horror tropes".
In Terror Aboard The Speedwell, you play an officer about the Speedwell, a ship sent from Mars to check out whatever is left of Earth. On the planet's surface you are attacked by strange creatures; one of your crew members gets bitten on the way back to the ship and the infection turns her into a monster hell-bent on hunting down everyone on board. With two months left until the ship reaches Mars, you must try to survive.
The game's first choice is which character you'll play. Both characters are female, though they have different personalities. Which character you play has an effect on your options, though they don't have much effect at the beginning of the game, and the earliest possible ending is available to both characters. There are ten endings in total, and the ones I've seen have been quite different from each other.
Terror Aboard The Speedwell's plot is straight out of a standard horror movie, but that's the beauty of the game. By putting you in the shoes of one of the protagonists, you get to direct the path the movie takes and all of the branches are well done. It really feels like you're playing through a horror movie in terms of plot, though the lack of visuals and audio naturally make for a less immersive experience than watching a horror movie in a dark room.