Coloratura does a good job of hinting at your next action while preserving the xeno-celestial beauty of the prose. The parser is buttery smooth, accepting many commands, often the first thing I thought of.
I wrestled with the ethics of my choices, and felt the creature's frustration at being so unable to communicate with its captors to resolve the situation peaceably.
I love this. I love the emotion-pushing concept and the fact that it did interesting things more of the time than not. I love the strangeness of the alien mind. I love the careful research that went into setting, and the provided maps that help ground it in human experience. I love that it has consistent puzzle mechanics and puzzle challenges that are deeply essential to the story, not just glued in.
Coloratura won both First Place and Miss Congeniality in the 2013 Interactive Fiction Competition. Coloratura also was awarded 4 XYZZY Awards, including, "Best Game", "Best Puzzles", "Best Individual Puzzle", and "Best Individual PC" and nominated for 6 other XYZZY awards, an unprecedented sweep.
Coloratura wove together music, science, and horror to create a truly unique piece of beautiful and terrifying art. Designing in a text-only medium allowed me to stylistically build an "impossible geometry" of narrative with alien, synesthesiac descriptions. And while it was creepy and unsettling, it created strong emotional connection to players by creating empathy towards all the actors by giving them all realistic and empathetic motivations.
I attribute a large portion of the game's success to schedule discipline and flexibility to change, as well as the fantastic help from my testers. I focused on gameplay that was well-designed to guide players towards solutions, and allow them to solve puzzles at their own comfort level with scaling difficulty. This emphasis on good gameplay really worked with the narrative and allowed immersion and the story to become the key parts of the game.