Big ol’ disclaimer: This is my first Twine game. I am very skeptical of the system. I do not think it is for me. I am very much partial to parser based interactive fiction.
I have been putting off writing this review because I do not like Horse Master. There are a lot of great things to say about the it, Tom McHenry’s writing first among them, but ultimately the work does not resonate with me. This being a work in Twine has a lot to do with my feelings. Twine as a medium doesn’t grab me. But my problems with Horse Master goes beyond the medium.
Ultimately, it did not feel like any choice I made really mattered. I understand that there are at least three different endings to Horse Master and, as such, the choices during play do have some sort of mechanical effects, but as will be discussed in the spoiler-y section, the differences in the ending seem superficial.
A few positives, though. As mentioned, Tom McHenry’s writing is great, the world he created is stark and strange, the revelations revealed throughout satisfyingly bizarre. From a purely story point of view, Horse Master is worth a read. But as a work of Interactive Fictions, it falls a bit short on the interactivity.