Sunday, 20 October 2013

Vulse by Rob Parker

Click here to play Vulse online


(Version reviewed: Original)

Vulse is a Twee hypertext piece. I would say what I think it is about but I don't really know; I wasn't sufficiently engaged by it to run through it more than once, and that first play eventually began to feel like a chore. The protagonist sloughs about in an apartment with a collection of abstract and angry thoughts and perceptions. These are rendered with deliberately crafted language, a sort of free verse stream of consciousness. The prose wore on me over time, not inherently, but because it didn't seem to take me anywhere. There was little sign of the literal stuff mentioned in the game's blurb, of the Twin Peaksy corpse which floats into the town. Perhaps it was down other paths.

My primary beef with Vulse is that I could find no point of interest in it that would stimulate me to engage with the prose. There was no sense of a character, or inner or outer reality, or of a plot or story or mystery or something else to compel. This left just a series of links leading to different strands of language. Ability with the language needs to be in service of something, especially in the context of this comp. I'm afraid I couldn't find the something.

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