The first episode of Mrs. Wobbles and the Tangerine House was an IFComp entry in 2013. (Here’s my review.) It is a choice-based Undum children’s story about a group of foster children who go to live in the home of the eponymous Mrs. Wobbles, and the whole story is being told through a magical book. Reading as an adult, one has a distinct sense of not being the target audience, most of all because of the slightly teasing tone the narrator adopts towards the reader.
This installment, Book 2, picks up with the children transported to a pirate land. We again have the framing narrative of a magic book, and then at one point Mildred (one of the children) can herself tell about a memory of hers, so the layers of story and other-reality get fairly thick.
As before, Book 2 is fairly linear, with just a few points of significant branching, and a few others in which you’re effectively picking the order of operations for doing a series of tasks that all have to be completed. And as before, the story incorporates ludicrous poetry, elaborate similes, and wordplay. A few examples that give a sense of the narrative tone:
The front was guarded by a big pirate henchman, who looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there, as if he were missing his favorite TV show and perhaps even his favorite episode of his favorite TV show.
…and when it comes to the way things work in the sort-of-make-believe, sort-of-true universe of the children:
‘Take this, then.’ And Mrs. Wobbles handed Mildred a giant rubber heart. ‘It’s a shield,’ said Mrs. Wobbles, ‘and an eraser.’
And there are quite handsome illustrations in a sort of woodcut style:
Book 2 is not the end, either. There’s apparently meant to be at least one more in this series. All the same, Book 2 more or less stands alone, and it would be possible to read it knowing little more than I’ve just outlined.
To go into more detail about the story will require some spoilers, however.