Certain decisions require a lot of thought and careful planning because of how much is at stake, and how easy it would be to mess everything up. Like when you’re watching a movie with your best friend and even though you’re not how to go about it, the one thing on your mind is that you really want to… kiss her.
In theory, it should be simple. Well, relatively. At least, based on how easy it looks in just about every movie. But real life is no movie, and while this piece of interactive fiction is just that – fiction – chances are more than a few out there have actually experienced something similar: the struggle of trying to navigate the maze-like puzzle that consists of figuring out how to overcome fear, insecurities, and other concerns – including, you know, the very real potential for rejection, or worse.
It’s such a small thing, yet somehow, the very thought can generate anxiety within even the most confident person. As for whether the protagonist in kiss her is even remotely that, well, it’s hard to say. She doesn’t exactly give off such a vibe, and given how more than a few of the 10 different endings involve zero lip-locking, chances are her character is in fact more akin to the shy and awkward type. Which obviously doesn’t make the task at hand any easier.
On top of that, what if she ends up kissing her friend who then turns out to be straight as an arrow? Like I said, a lot can go wrong and the consequences can be absolutely dire, depending on how the situation is handled. Which, in this case, revolves around two girls watching a cheesy movie together. Just two friends hanging out. Nothing out of the ordinary is happening and unless a certain someone plays their cards right, it’s unlikely that anything ever will.
Which is where the ‘interactive’ part of interactive fiction comes into play, as choices are plentiful and frequent, and while some outcomes are kind of obvious in terms of what led to them, other do require a bit of thought and consideration to reach. In fact, for such a short Twine game, kiss her has a surprising amount of variety and even its ‘bad’ endings – i.e. ones where they didn’t end up kissing for one reason or another – were still interesting, somehow.
Making decisions for one of the two leads in a game which the creator describes as being “about two girls pining for each other” often led to mistakes that could easily have been avoided with just a brief moment to think things through. But it was a video game, and not only were the two entirely fictional, but they were also nameless, leaving the player with next-to-nothing to get attached to, so I let curiosity get the better of me.
Did I feel bad for sending the poor girl way off course more than once, straight onto a path I knew would likely lead to her friend never knowing how she truly felt about her, and most certainly to an ending without any kissing? Well, yeah. Even a short story with nameless characters can still evoke emotions in the player, after all, something kiss her managed just fine. At the end of the day, I did actually want the protagonist to be happy – especially if it involved a HEA with her bestie.
Conclusion? Well, it’s a short and sweet story of sapphic scruples and one that I would recommend experiencing. Even if you aren’t overly fond of romantic tales.
kiss her is available on itch.io.