Eczema Orifice Angel collects the lovely, disturbing text games of Porpentine


Porpentine's interactive fiction games have won a lot of praise since she made headlines in 2012 with Howling Dogs, a metafictional text experience that leapt between lush virtual reality worlds. She's since become one of the most critically-acclaimed and prolific creators using the interactive fiction tool Twine—so profilic that at times she had trouble tracking down all of her own work. They remained scattered across the internet like bits of seaglass—a sharp fragment of blue on Tumblr here, a smooth piece of amber there.

But her newly new games compilation Eczema Angel Orifice finally collects all of her greatest hits in one place at the price of five dollars, along with over 5,000 words of director's notes and a guide that can recommend games based on mood, length and content.

"Basically it's a good way to introduce my work to someone new, without the stress of tracking down all the trash I've scattered across the net," says Porpentine. There's a full list of the games included in the compliation on her site, but highlights include Howling Dogs, With Those We Love Alive and Ultra Business Tycoon III. The creation of Eczema Orifice Angel was supported by Porpentine's Patreon account, and there are demos for Mac and PC as well, if you want to try before you buy.

Porpentine also recently released a free game called This World Is Not My Home with co-creator Brenda Neotenomie, which uses images and music as well as text. Although it feels like a guided relaxation program propelling you down a soothing waterway, Neotenomie says the darker subtext is that it's a soporific video created to calm of the workers of a malevolent coropration.

"I used to do web and video stuff for companies that were so sprawling that they had elaborate internal marketing campaigns, down to hiring graphic designers for their PowerPoints," writes Neotenomie. "So these companies felt like their own little worlds in a way that was a bit depressing. It didn't seem that hard to imagine a huge company where everyone's stressed out producing a chintzy CGI video or desktop application in the name of helping, instead of actually fixing anything."