LI came across The Swamp You Die In by finding a hack of it called A Light, Reflected.
Out of all the journaling games I’ve tried in honor of NaNoWriMo, Swamp and its hacks are the shortest in form and the most guided. It’s also very simple, albeit not the simplest.
Basically, Swamp consists of six tables. Roll a die,consult the table you’re on, respond to that prompt. It can easily be only one sentence. And the theme is literally what the title tells you.
To be brutally honest, the prompts tend to be pretty specific compared to other journaling game I’ve played. You can easily add wiggle room but Swamp honestly hold your hand a lot.
The original game is laid out as a comic strip, with each prompt as its own panel. While that doesn’t actually affect the mechanics, it does add a nice bit of flavor to the experience.
The game also instructs you to not look ahead and not read the prompts you roll. So far, I have followed those rules so I still have some actual replay value.
That also means, unlike every other journaling game I’ve written about, I won’t post any of the play throught since that would spoil the game for others.
Okay, when I first approached Swamp, I found it too simple. However, the ability to pound out a game when I didn’t have time for a longer journaling game ended up being nice. Yeah; eventually I’ll see all the prompts but I’ll get in a few plays before then.
What really strikes me about Swamp is that I think it has real potential to work in the classroom. At first I thought I might be too simple. Then I remembered some students need more structure for creative writing than others.
Of course, I’ll have to change the theme from dying in a swamp!