Go play it.
It’s neither the best nor the most ambitious game I’ve found in this trawl, but it’s nevertheless a very cool little experience. It’s playable in-browser, and it’ll take you all of fifteen minutes. So why not give it a go?
Page 53, Game 19: Draw Nine by Damon L. Wakes
You’re a freshly-minted graduate of the Arcane Tower about to set forth into the world. You have nine magic cards, of three types: horses, spiders, and snakes. Now off you go on your adventure!
You’ll choose a path, you’ll encounter a situation, you’ll choose a card to deal with it: horses to be nice to people, snekkos to murder, and spiders to just fuck things up.
It’s a text-based game, sort of a Choose Your Own Adventure thing, except you’re traveling with nine solutions in your pocket. It’s not exactly a challenging game; I’m pretty sure there’s no real way to lose any particular encounter, it’s just a matter of what flavor of “winning” feels right for you.
And yet, I still found it satisfying. The dev crafted a kind of folkloric feel that worked quite well for me. Even if the destination remains the same, the choices you make along the way still feel meaningful. You encounter a beggar: do you aid him, infest him with spiders, or give him a big ol’ faceful of snek? How about those annoying entitled townsfolk? That tower up ahead looks dodgy; do you head for it anyway?
Journey before destination, mate.
It’s a trifle, I suppose, but a very thoughtful and well executed one. If you’re in the mood for something chill and text-based, I can definitely recommend it.
What awaits me at the end of this next journey?
Page 9, Game 7: Galactic Wars by VolcanoBytes
“a 8bit Space shooter in Pico 8”
Ah. Death and explosions. I’m into that, too.