Bee is story of a home-schooled girl preparing to compete in the national spelling bee, dealing with various small crises with family and friends, and gradually coming to terms with the clash of subcultures involved in belonging to a family like hers.

Here are a few things reviewers have written about it:

What's so inspirational about this story is the compelling realism from the characters. Initially, I found it somewhat difficult to relate to them: I know next to nothing about the US education system, don't 'get' spelling bees (apparently they're a big thing over there), and certainly can't put myself in the position of a home-schooled American girl with a super-religious family background! But before long, I was starting to really feel for the character and beginning to see how her life fit together. -- DanQ

The prose feels deeply inhabited by the main character's point of view, in a way that is clear-eyed enough to let us understand some of the things she does not, but also authentic enough that it generates sympathy not only for her situation but for those around her who create that situation. -- Paul O'Brian

Initially released for Varytale in 2012, Bee went off-line for a time when the Varytale platform shut down. Varytale's programmer, Ian Millington, then partially re-created Bee for Dendry (a non-commercial platform with similar technical features). He wasn't able to finish, and for some years Bee was only available to play in an incomplete form. 

Most recently, Autumn Chen kindly helped complete and update Bee for Dendry: adding missing status views, making the endings functional, and helping with testing and balancing. 

In that process, we also made a few updates to the text itself. These were mainly to address issues in the original game that could make some playthroughs overly repetitive, or make certain endings more difficult to reach. Where that process meant I needed a little extra material, I also wrote a small amount of additional text, and restructured a few storylets. I deliberately refrained, however, from making very substantial changes to the text or attempting to remake the story around my authorial voice of 2022. It is still very much something I wrote in 2012.

Bee was a nominee for a Best Writing XYZZY Award and has placed on several best-of-interactive fiction lists. More reviews can be found on IFDB.

Published 25 days ago
StatusReleased
PlatformsHTML5
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(9)
AuthorEmily Short
GenreInteractive Fiction
TagsMeaningful Choices, Narrative, Short, Slice Of Life, storygame, Text based