Violet (video game)

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Violet computer game.png
Violet being played in a modern interpreter.
Developer(s) Jeremy Freese
Publisher(s) Jeremy Freese
Designer(s) Jeremy Freese
Engine Z-machine
Release 2008
Genre(s) Interactive Fiction, Adventure
Mode(s) Single player

Violet is a work of interactive fiction by American author Jeremy Freese.[1] It is a one-room puzzle game.[1] It took first place in the 2008 Interactive Fiction Competition with an average score of 8.53.[2] That score is the highest of any Interactive Fiction Competition entry from 1999 through 2012.[3] Violet was selected as the best interactive fiction game for 2008 by both the Jay Is Games staff and audience.[1] Violet took 35.1% of the vote in the Jay Is Games audience award, compared to 18.7% for the second place winner, Lost Pig.[1] Violet won four awards in the 2008 XYZZY Awards: Best game, writing, individual puzzle ("Disconnecting the Internet in Violet/Getting rid of the key in Violet"), and individual NPC (Violet, the eponymous character).[4]

The protagonist of Violet is a graduate student trying to write 1,000 words for his dissertation.[5] The protagonist's girlfriend, Violet, threatens to leave otherwise.[5][6] The protagonist faces a stream of distractions,[5] including a window with a view of the campus, and a computer with access to blogs and webcomics.[6] In the course of the game, the protagonist must "reconsider—and risk wrecking—" his career and relationship.[5]

A reviewer for The A.V. Club described the puzzles as "smart but logical" and "fit[ting] thematically into the story."[5] The reviewer also called out the ability to disable "'heteronormativity,' so you can play as Violet’s girlfriend" as something that makes the game "Worth playing for".[5] A second review also observes this option, noting that at least one puzzle changes based on the choice.[6]

A writer for Jay Is Games called out Violet for "succeed[ing] in the difficult task of capturing the intricacies of a dynamic relationship."[1] The writer also praised the game for succeeding at engaging the player at "the core emotional level", again noting how difficult this is.[1] Emily Short, in a review on Jay Is Games, noted the strength of the implementation, pointing to the breadth of "interesting responses even to silly or unexpected actions."[6] Short felt that the characters were "seemingly-real" and "their problem is plausible and serious."[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Best of Casual Gameplay 2008 - Interactive Fiction Results". Jay Is Games. Jay Is Games. Archived from the original on 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  2. ^ "Results of the 14th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition". Stephen Granade. Archived from the original on 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  3. ^ Granade, Stephen. "2008 Interactive Fiction Competition". Stephen Granade. Retrieved 2008-11-25.  1999 (2008-11-23 archive), 2000 (2008-11-23 archive), 2001 (2008-11-23 archive), 2002 (2008-11-23 archive), 2003 (2008-11-23 archive), 2004 (2008-11-23 archive), 2005 (2008-11-23 archive), 2006 (2008-11-23 archive), 2007 (2008-11-23 archive), and 2008 (2008-11-23 archive)
  4. ^ Mullin, Eileen (2009-03-27). "XYZZYnews". Eileen Mullin. Archived from the original on 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Dahlen, Christ (2008-12-22). "Violet and Everybody Dies". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Archived from the original on 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Short, Emily (2008-11-18). "Violet". Jay Is Games. Jay Is Games. Archived from the original on 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 

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