IFComp 2019 review: Saint City Sinners

spoilers follow

Saint City Sinners is a hammy, over-the-top noir comedy in Twine. The sense of humor seems to be sort of silly, wordy, and maximalist.

At the beginning of the story, if you successfully resist the call to adventure over several choices, you can reach this ending:

I laughed. I am a woman of simple tastes.

The bad ends are all funny; it’s the sort of game where it’s worth doing outrageously stupid things just to experience the joy of failure. There’s an undo button in the sidebar, so you can fail with impunity.

I followed the tantalizing lead of a slightly wobbly chair in a sushi restaurant to a bizarrely, hilariously long tangent with maybe a dozen endings of its own, all wholly unrelated to the actual mystery.

I imagine that much of the success of the game depends on the individual reader’s reaction to the humor. Not all the jokes are necessarily winners, but the ones that tickled me were so great that I didn’t mind the whiffs. Even if half the jokes make you roll your eyes, the sheer density of humor means that you’ll get a lot of laughs.

Sure, there’s a mystery involved in Saint City Sinners, but that’s hardly the point. Take the scenic route, find some of the bad endings, and enjoy some pure, ridiculous, laugh-out-loud fun!

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