Little Falls: an Interactive Fiction experience.

By: Shapermc

On: October 9th, 2007

<img src= align=left hspace=“10” vspace=“5” />The Interactive Fiction Little Falls claims to be an experience rather than just a story. Released earlier this year by Mondi Confinanti in English (originally published in Italian), Little Falls has the widest range of multimedia I’ve ever seen used in an IF. Images and sound add to the story in a way that makes them inseparable from the experience (even though you can play the IF without them).

The main character (aside from being You) is a police officer from the small Minnesota town of Little Falls. The IF starts in the police officer’s past, the root for a myriad of his problems which the game attempts to deal with. In this town a maniac stalks young women, and You are investigating him. A compelling hook in the beginning keeps the story going for a while, even through some frustrating puzzles (as a bit of a non-spoiler tip: the title of this game contains a very helpful verb).

As successful an experience Little Falls is, it still fails on fundamental level of storytelling. I’ll give the game a little credit for being translated from a foreign language—I’m sure some subtleties are lost in translation—but the writing is so heavy handed that there’s no real sense of mystery or fear. The added visuals and audio nearly compensate for this though, allowing the story to unfold in a pleasing manner.

For someone who’s looking to develop a more story based game Little Falls will offer some excellent inspirational fodder, and may give you a new avenue to look into for game development.

  • FireSword

    Mondi Confinanti = Border Worlds…

    That word reminds me a lot of
    Wing commander 4.. lol

    Ciao. (=bye)

  • Shih Tzu

    Huh. I’ve been to Little Falls. Neat.

  • Karzon

    Happy to see more about IF here. I’ll throw in recommendations for all the works of Adam Cadre and Ian Finley for newcomers to the genre. Most are heavily story rather than puzzle based, and excellent besides.

  • ryan in exile

    needs more rybread.

  • Daiz

    So with all the music, images and audio, isn’t this basically a visual novel? Although I still think that Visual Novel == Interactive Fiction, but some people seemed to disagree with this the last time there was discussion about it.

  • Shih Tzu

    Well, as I understand the genre delineations, a visual novel is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure book that might keep track of a few basic variables (such as how much Yasuko likes you, etc.), while IF traditionally prompts you for actions every few seconds and gives you broad freedom to explore. The two couldn’t be more different in how you interact with them; the presence or lack of images and music are just window dressing.

    I suppose you could make a case that visual novels are a kind of IF, but a lot of IF fans would probably bristle at that.

  • !CE-9

    “Images and sound add to the story in a way that makes them inseparable from the experience (even though you can play the IF without them).”

    I’m intrigued.

  • gnome

    Actually it’s very interesting just how subtly the graphics have been used. They only complement the text but don’t overshadow it. Great find!