16 Ways to Kill A Vampire at McDonalds

Author: Abigail Corfman
Year: 2016
Development System: Twine (browser)
Cruelty Rating: Merciful (there is no way to die or get stuck)
Length Of Play: 5-10 minutes per playthrough

My Rating: 9

Awards: Best Puzzles — 2016 XYZZY Awards

The first Twine game I played was a fantastic introduction to the system. About twenty years ago I played Will the Real Marjorie Hopkirk Please Stand Up?, a game about trying to find 100 ways to kill 100 clones. I was enthralled by the premise and disappointed it was a demo with only five solutions. So I was thrilled to finally get to play something similar that was less intimidating and more lighthearted.

I really appreciated that no significant knowledge of vampire literature is necessary as Corfman provides ample hints along the way if you’re stuck. Some puzzles can be solved in multiple ways. And there’s also plenty to look at and tinker with that explores the character outside of just her night shift job.

The structure isn’t perfect; some playthroughs get repetitive (which was one of my criticisms of Galatea) and some paths of victory can be found by luck, though the game’s brevity (and levity!) help alleviate these concerns. None of the puzzles are particularly difficult, but some are clever, and it never felt like I was mindlessly clicking on hypertext.

What shot my rating up to five stars was the game’s three epilogues that provide the player with silly information about vampire stories, 16 more ways to kill a vampire (no puzzling required), and a Rashomon style section to view all your playthroughs via the eyes of one of the McDonalds employees. Corfman’s writing is so delightful that I eagerly read everything and have now played this twice since its release.

3 thoughts on “16 Ways to Kill A Vampire at McDonalds”

  1. Finished. I enjoyed the interface and the color changes tied to location changes. Some fun extra color commentary and sarcasm in the expandable dialogue along the way. Like the “sad vegetarians” bit.

    Yeah, got kind of repetitive for some similar kill options, and was annoying without a save when you’d get most of the way through what you were planning to do, but misclicked and had to go back and do it all over again.

    The Rashomon was a treat. I think my favorite kills were when making the vamp conflicted.

    1. Yeah, that happened to me a few times; I understand not implementing a save function for such a small game, especially a game that auto-saves after each playthrough, but it would have been nice near the end when I only had a few deaths left.

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