healyg: (Book Reading)
[personal profile] healyg
Hello, all and sundry! We're in the final stretch of the IF Comp judging period, so I'll be reviewing one game a day until Saturday, November 14th. (That's an extra 4 reviews!) Up next, it's Chandler Groover's Taghairm.

Taghairm (the "agh" is very important) is a horror game about two Scottish dudes who perform a magic ritual involving... well, let's not mince words here, it's basically torturing and killing cats. The subject matter is legitimately horrifying, and I couldn't go through with the ritual the first time I played. The second time, I had cooled down a bit, and managed to disengage enough to go through with it and see the "true" ending. Taghairm is essentially a test of player complicity: How far are you willing to go in order to continue on with the game? Taghairm is in some pretty high company here, from Victor Gijsbers Fate to Toby Fox's Undertale. (Spoilers in that last link!)


The horrible deeds you do in Taghairm become very repetitive very quickly, which means it's only a matter of time before mental fatigue sets in. This puts the player in much the same position as the game's protagonists, who by the end are tired, cold, hungry, and surrounded by dead cats. The ending comes as a terrible relief for both player and protagonists. These and other aspects makes Taghairm very interesting to think about, but not so much to play. I don't mind that I played it, but I would really rather not do so again.


Conclusion: Taghairm is a very interesting game about complicity, but I would be reluctant to recommend it, especially to animal lovers.
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