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Reviews by spindlebink

Review for Hawk the Hunter
24 Oct 2021
I've had the privilege of working with the author through a testing and refining period, and this game is wonderful. The puzzles are intricate, but usually solvable with enough time and lateral thinking. The world is expansive and complex and begs to be mapped (I recommend Trizbort), and the quality of the prose lends each area a lovely and distinct atmosphere. If you're looking for a great, rewarding piece of interactive fiction that'll take time to figure out, I definitely recommend Hawk.

The author's affection for the source material is perhaps this game's central feature. Quotes and references and characters from the movie abound, but the author has infused this project with a real sense of mystery and beauty that goes beyond reference or homage into something more. There's some breathtaking prose here--the author is an English professor, after all--and it's all tinged with a shimmery, dreamy quality. It's like we've been granted the chance to see the original movie as it ought to have been, with 80s camp and pure wonder in equal amounts, but unhindered by the cynicism or irony we might apply to the source material today. It's art restoration in the best way.

This game is complex. It can be frustrating, and it has a couple of rough edges, due in part to the engine used, which begins to struggle under something of this scope. But above all, the amount of love put into this project shows. The flavor and idiosyncrasies of the world and the sheer breadth of references pulled in (shoutout to T. S. Eliot!) give Hawk a highly specific and utterly enchanting tone. If you leave behind the contemporary instinct to consume and forget, if you take time and savor the complexities of Hawk's world, you'll find something remarkable. I love this game.