Oh to live in the world of immediate rewards!  Stats and reviews of the game are making their appearances in various places, answering my most pressing questions:

#1 - Is anyone playing it?

FB and Twitter are great for this, of course, but only for those within a few Kevin Bacons of myself.  Topappcharts.com offers app rankings for the iphone/ipad versions:

#35 in Role Playing Games (iPhone) on Jun 20, 2010
#2 in Role Playing Games (iPad) on Jun 21, 2010
#53 in Adventure Games (iPhone) on Jun 20, 2010
#7 in Adventure Games (iPad) on Jun 21, 2010
#70 in Top Games (iPad) on Jun 19, 2010

These rankings are based on number of downloads, so it looks like it's getting some play at least.

#2 - What do people think?

The reviews on the itunes site vary broadly.  A lot of folks really dig it, and a lot really hate it.  For a piece like this, that comes as no surprise.

Neither of these sources give any insight into the non-stevejobsian universe, but can perhaps be viewed as a general indicator of the response at large. 

Interactive fiction is an odd beast.  It can make for a very  moving connection between the reader and a work (I'm looking at you, Photopia) or can also be used simply for the gaming enjoyment of puzzle-solving, and sometimes both.  Building The Nightmare Maze as part of a larger series of creative content allowed me some flexibility when it comes to story-telling.  I wanted to make the game an episode in the events of the larger world, keeping with the themes and general timbre of the Waking Cassandra series, as opposed to a strictly stand-alone object.

The game is a departure from the sort of pieces Choice of Games has released before -- if you haven't played them, do yourself a favor and do so forthwith -- in that the player has a specific goal in mind: to solve the mystery of the nightmares.   One of the beta-testers said the game was like a recurring dream, that you had to get through it several times trying different actions to figure it out.  I found this comment quite rewarding, as that was one of my goals. 

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