The Lift is a CYOA in Twine. As usual, the jump will be followed by non-spoilery comments; then if I have anything spoilery to say, there will be spoiler space. I don’t know that this had beta-testers, but because the Twine format makes it more difficult to test for that, I’m being a little lenient with the choice-based pieces.
The Lift makes you an amnesiac who wakes up in some kind of unexplained testing chamber, such that I’m suffering acute cliché overdose before I even get as far as reading my first selection of choices. It doesn’t really get better. The prose is pedestrian and contains an assortment of errors, including the dreaded its/it’s error. Gameplay is extremely, extremely brief.
The first of my endings read like this:
You stride gleefully towards the lift and wonder how things would have turned out if you made a different choice.
This is A Lie. I have no interest whatsoever in how things would have turned out had I made a different choice at one of the three or so nodes it took me to get here, because those choices were essentially uninformed and unmotivated, and almost everything significant that my character did took place in a cut-scene under the author’s control. Nonetheless I returned and played a couple more times, to make sure I wasn’t missing anything much (I wasn’t). There’s not much of a setting or characterization or plot, either. I had the strong sense from the way it was written that the author probably anticipated there being more content, but didn’t get around to it.
So, okay. My best guess is that the author was excited to discover that he could make a game with choices in it, and that he could release that for the web and put it in a competition. And, hooray, he successfully did all those things! I can’t really recommend it to others, though.