As if I really needed to play a game about struggling to write while trying to write today's Fringe Busters. I'd already played it back when it won the 2008 Interactive Fiction Competition at the beginning of the year, but convinced myself that I needed a refresher. As if I needed to relive my school days of mastering the fine arts of procrastination and self-distraction. As if I needed to feel trapped in a room with a catty ex chatting loudly outside the door. As if I needed a new, fictional person scolding me for not getting my work done -- you know, for my free time away from home, family and work. Yet somehow Violet remains a thoroughly enjoyable, and perhaps even vaguely inspirational, experience.
Let's be up front about this: Violet is interactive fiction. There are no pictures, and there's a certain amount of guessing what words fit into the command that will solve each problem. I hear some folks around these parts don't take too kindly to interactive fiction, and would rather spend part of RabbitCon pretending that inFamous is materially different than half a dozen other games in the used bin at my local GameStop.
OK, so maybe I lean a little bit more towards IGF than E3.
Why You Should Check This Out: Violet can be every bit as frustrating as writer's block, but the fact that this is a game (with ample hints and no small amount of humor) takes the fear of looming deadlines and makes it feel somewhat safe. And the narrator. The titular Violet, your girlfriend, provides the wonderful voice of the narrator -- the nagging, pleading, pet-name calling and threatening Australian voice in your head. It's this game's wonderful sense of character that sets the game apart.
Good, I can feel some of your horizons broadening already.