Twine Weekly: Tundra

You wake up in a frozen wasteland wearing unfamiliar clothes. Nothing but snow in sight you find a radio that tells you to kill someone to save yourself. Oddly, still, is the lack of people in your vicinity. What would you do?

Tundra does a fantastic job at creating suspense and wonder. Right from the start the player is invested, wanting to know how they arrived in this snow infused landscape. It isn’t long before information is slowly fed to the player, though more question rise for each one answered. The story moves along at a quick pace during the first half, though the end is a bit of a mess. This is the first time I have seen a Twine game emulate the point and click genre, and it works well, but I became stuck almost immediately. I’m not sure if I was playing some parts out of sequence or if I just hadn’t interacted with some object enough times but I completely missed a tool. Unfortunately, the game is built on a series of puzzles that never overlap, as solving one opens up the next, so being stuck on a single puzzle kills the pacing. From this point on, every puzzle was solved through brute force. I never entered the mindset of the creator and the puzzles, in hindsight, were only somewhat logical. Unfortunately for me, I believe I missed some crucial elements of the plot that led to an unsatisfactory ending. The final puzzle requires a four digit code and I simply tried every combination until something worked. Not the best justification, but I had looked everywhere and couldn’t find anything else to do nor any hints as to how to obtain the code. In the end, I was left wanting more. More lore, more answers, more of anything that would have appeased the curiosity and tension that were built up throughout the experience.

I do, however recommend playing Tundra if nothing else than to feel, first hand, its strengths. The setup and introduction do such a good job at setting the tone and creating atmosphere and any aspiring writer would benefit from experiencing it. Tundra also has a unique feature in the latter half, a map. I don’t think I have played a Twine game with a map before but it was perfectly executed. Without it, the backtracking necessary for the adventure aspects would have been cumbersome, most likely causing most players to quit before the end.

Created by: PaperBlurt
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