This game is alright but I've played a lot better. The premise is interesting and some of the puzzles are cool, but it can also be really frustrating as well. The first two hours of the game (about how long it took me to solve the first two puzzles) were probably the best two hours, which explains why it was able to win the IFComp, considering the competition is solely based on the first two hours of play.
I found the "get the pen" puzzle to be particularly frustrating and inane. It requires you to do something that seems completely unrelated to getting the pen. In all fairness, there actually is a hint regarding this puzzle that I must have read very early in the game and then forgot about. I wouldn't fault anyone for typing HINT here if they've been stuck for a considerable period of time. I don't normally like taking hints because they make me feel lame and they spoil the game, but this is one case where I was relieved.
Part of the problem with this game is that it's very "Don't do that! I wouldn't do that if I were you! You need to be writing, not doing that!". The way things are worded, it makes it sound like you can't do certain things when actually, you CAN do them, but just not at that particular time. Luckily, I'm stubborn and I tend to try things over and over again until I'm satisfied that I can't do something. This aspect was unusually misleading.
I was actually quite sick of Violet by the end of the game. Maybe she's just not my type. Overall, the game was very well polished and well-written. In my opinion, the main flaws are in the design, and some of the puzzles are just not that great. On the other hand, there wasn't exactly a great deal of design space, considering the entire game takes place in a single room, so maybe the puzzles are as good as they could be. There's an awful lot that takes place in that room! I started to get really claustrophobic after a while and just really wanted to get out of that stupid room.
I want to give this game a 4, but it just falls a little bit short. I would encourage a dedicated IF fan to give this a try, keeping in mind the things that I mentioned. You should be able to solve all of the puzzles without any hints, except for the "get the pen" puzzle, which seemed a bit out of left field. I feel like some of the solutions I tried for that puzzle should have worked and actually made a lot more sense. As mentioned, the "i"/"inventory" command causes the game to crash and the save function doesn't seem to work. If you want to play this game, follow these instructions for downloading it, courtesy of ifdb: http://ifdb.tads.org/dladviser?id=4glrrfh7wrp9zz7b
The game was ok. I had to try like 12 or more times, but i was surprised when i got to "inform", and many other verbs, that would work, and so, i tried so many things that i was there for ages. it fantastic tho i figured how do itt
Story was great, I really enjoyed it, I can't believe the lengths I went to to write a dissertation to stay with Violet but jeez, it was impressive!
Only downside was that it was quite hard! (I kinda had to cheat unfortunately at the key bit) But then again the challenge was kinda fun (until the point that I'd spent half an hour trying to figure the first bit though).
Really great game. Virtually anything the player wants to do has a unique response and the puzzles are both hilarious and challenging. There are a few bugs, such as typing "i" or "inventory" will crash it completely, but otherwise it's technically airtight. Well done!
This game was incredibly well-thought out and executed. The characterization was brilliant, as I really felt myself caring about the relationship between Violet and the main character. Violet is also a great example of how a game can be compact, yet complex. The entirety of the game takes place in one room, so there's no "Oh! I need to use the playing card I found in the kitchen" moments. Instead, everything you need to complete the game is right there in the room, and yet nothing is blatantly obvious.
The only criticism I can think of was already mentioned in the previous review: Violet's adorable Oz-themed nicknames for you sometimes fail to appear, leaving moments of "Yours, ,."
I loved this game. Great work, Mr. Freese!
While not perfect, technically speaking (as there are bugs in which the pet names won't show, for example), this game is a beautifully sophisticated look at a relationship between two very distinctive people, told in a delightfully appealing voice, all with the traditional puzzle features of a text-based game. I adored every little glimpse into the lives of these people. I felt as if they were really speaking to me. I wish I actually knew a Violet. The writing, primarily, is this piece's strongest point. The randomization of descriptions and other nice little touches are spectacular. Challenging, insightful, emotional, and a joy to play.