There are some things that must be said for endings. That all good things, for instance, must come to them. That they tend to occur synchronously with new beginnings. That the existence or nonexistence of happy ones is ultimately debatable.
Here’s another one: that one has been reached with this, my final column for Innsmouth Free Press. And it’s a doozy. A few centuries shy of 3000 words, it tackles not one but four browser-based games from ludic experimentalist Gregory Weir. There’s also mention of china dolls, mold fairies, and antiquated handbills. It contains worlds, in plural. I won’t lie: this review is no fractal form. No snippety-snap can accurately portray its whole, just as endings may hint at, but never fully encapsulate, their beginnings (the reverse may not necessarily be true). However, in the interest of concluding on the same path we set out on, I’ve included a tidbit here, as is my tradition.
Organising the half-shattered china dolls in the attic of my ancestral home, I came upon yet another antiquated handbill, identical in nearly all particulars to the first. It read:
Greetings (or should it be Farewell?) Innsmouthians,
Leave-takings are such trouble. While we were not able, in the end, to provide quite the breadth of experiences I intended, I believe it has been a good season. We have shown you historic Silent Hill, as well as its renovated town centre. We have been to the rural Northwest; the campus of the G.U.E. Technical Institute; and we have ventured as far abroad as Norway and the Orient. We offered an extensive tour of New York City’s Central Park, and we have given you the thrill of a zombie infestation in addition to more prurient titillations.
Now, at the close of the season, A Pistol and a Flashlight would like to offer you something unheard of: For the price of a single ticket, you may embark on a fantastic, four-part adventure. The point of departure will be the depths of the ocean; we will stop in the Nameless City beneath the sands before journeying, via a special procedure, to dreamed-of reaches of space. Our final stop – the final stop for me – will be that archaeological wonder of ruins and shadow known only as ‘Looming’.
Following this “blow-out” tour, the doors of this establishment will be closed for the season – perhaps for good. I thank you, sweet Innsmouthians, for your valued patronage and remain, as always,
[the signature is as illegible as the first]
Read the full review here. And sleep safely.