An internship with Night Vale Community Radio is an incredibly rewarding, absolutely unforgettable experience… if you manage not to get killed, that is. The intern death toll has become the stuff of legends and one of the best recurring jokes on Welcome to Night Vale, yet people just keep signing up! And now, here’s your chance.
Game designer, writer, and podcaster Astrid Dalmady has created Investigative Journalism, a Twine game that casts you as a Night Vale intern on a portentous assignment: The News has gone missing, and it’s your job to track it down.
While it’s a fan-made game, Investigative Journalism possesses many of the hallmarks of Night Vale: Clever wording (I find the puns about The News especially amusing, writing for the Internet and all), a tour through Night Vale’s eeriest locations (including the Public Library—actually, on second thought, better not—and the Dog Park), and cameos from Old Woman Josie and the angels (who are definitely not angels) giving you clues along the way. There’s even a break for the weather!
The Night Vale voice shines through well in the different memorial slides depending on which awful fate befell poor Intern You. Because you will get dragged into the underground city beneath Lane 5 at the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, or get offed by The News itself if you don’t take the proper measures.
Unlike other choose-your-own-adventure games, in which you have to start at the very beginning after taking the wrong path, Investigative Journalism is much more forgiving; you usually only backtrack a step or two. The game could use with a few more twists and turns, and more chances to get lost in Night Vale—the fandom is proof that people would be more than happy spending all their time there. That said, it still makes for a really entertaining fifteen minutes filled with sly commentary on The News and the chase after a good story.