Cana According To Micah

Being an account of the wedding at Cana, by the servant Micah; in which further details, doubtlessly apocryphal, are given of the event, including his contention with a surly Baptist, an interfering orphan, and a proliferation of women named Mary.

It's a broad truth in IF that the best works dealing prominently with Christian themes are written by non-Christians. Cana is the exception.

The game is presented (very loosely) as a late-Victorian translation of an apocryphal account of the Jugs of Cana, better-known as the water-into-wine miracle. As an obscure servant in the house of the bridegroom, you're tasked with finding more wine for the party and, eventually, in setting up the miracle.

The main thing the game depicts is not setting or plot or puzzle or individual characters, but a community: a community composed of individuals, many of them basically dissatisfied, most with diverging interests, full of conflicts great and small. Fundamentally an attractive community, full of kind, generous, intelligent people, but one which you are not quite a core member of. This goes a long way towards making it feel alive, rather than a tidy little parable.

Gameplay-wise, it's old-schoolish and not immensely intuitive. There are multiple solutions to certain puzzles, which have an impact on the general story, but interaction is not the central interest of the game. Some lines of inquiry rely on quite specific knowledge of the original text, and others are counterintuitive. There's a substantial hint system.