It's a cloudy, ugly day at Owl Creek bridge, and a man is in what appear to be the last minutes of his life. Noose tied firmly around his neck, he stands on a plank. He can step off the plank on his own, if he chooses; otherwise, one of the soldiers behind him will push him back until he's out of room to stand. They wear blue, he wears gray, and it's the middle of the US Civil War. Maybe he's got it coming, maybe he doesn't. It doesn't matter. This is war, after all, and what we know is that this man is about to die, away from his beloved family and with only the company of his enemies... but wouldn't it be something if this didn't have to happen?
This may seem a little familiar to you, at least upon a completed playthrough. An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, a free narrative art game from Seemingly Pointless, is an adaptation of the famous short story by Ambrose Bierce. If you're from the US and you've been through high school, you may have read it in class. You can read it here for free, although it might be a good idea to play the game first. Even for a short story, it's short, and it won't take up much of your day.
Gameplay isn't the point as much as story. It's a very easy game, and play consists of moving around with the [arrow] keys. Mostly, you'll be going to the right. Still, the plot does more than carry its weight— this is a tale that can keep its emotional impact in almost any format, and Seemingly Pointless did a good job keeping most of the important stuff intact. However, if you're looking for a completely faithful adaptation, this unfortunately isn't it. Quite a few details have been changed to fit the format better, and while many of these changes work well enough, some players might feel that other changes take something away from the story. For a non-spoilery example, the protagonist was originally a civilian instead of a soldier, and that was part of what made him sympathetic to me. As for the rest... well, it's a short game, too, so why not see for yourself?
Download the free full version