I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I suppose that IFComp has some time pressure on it, so creating a game for the competition is absolutly no easy task.
Also, I would like to say that even if I player lots of parser 30 years ago (Yes, I'm an old and tired guy), parser is not my poison.
All that out of the way, just the opening was a big deal. The fist chunck of text is wonderful. Delvers character, sense, dread, theme, mood, Everything. Everything without waste of words. No recurring Infodump so many IFs tends to throw over the player. Streamlined. So, Pixie got ecxatly one of the hardest tasks when writing anything: hook the reader right in the biggining.
The puzzles are a little hard? Yes, they are. But I found it a fair measure to the quality and quantity of work put in the game. Loved testing some verbs and nons and seeing the game replyig t it. Also, I think part of the difficulty is because the scenario around the character is a bit complex and discribing it becomes a challenge.
And speaking about the character... I loved the character. I like the comments and personal opinions in good measure and well placed, adding some personality. I did read another internet review criticizing the use of the third person, but actually, I loved. It has a two folds: The character building would never work if not done in third person. You may even try to say "You think" or "your feel", but it usually only creates offended people asking why the author is trying to tell what they think or feel. The second fols is that I really defend the idea of third person. It introduces the character. Gives a new layer of drama. Of problems. Of drive. And the character was wonderflully portrayed in this game.
As a final comment, I liked the way as the game feels like an old school parser, but with a fresh air, right because the player is not dropped into the hunt for solving puzzles, but because there is a character with intent, facing a problem. It makes all the puzzle solving thing more natural inside the story, without that little voice at the corner of the mind all the time asking why those things are happening.
Right... Let me try saying something useful to someone, intead of ranting around like and internet troll...
I see the author ha really really good intentions and put a lot of work here. It brings to us all a good lesson about little things to polish, like removing the "take" verb from the list if the object cannot be taken anyway. Little things like these.
What actually bothers me is that despite all the good intentions and efforts, much of the game is trying to make the feel of something like "GTA" get hammered into a parser game. And it won't happen. But... You can get a sort of mood, if you focus on adapting what the type of thing you want doing into the new media you're exploring.
All that stuff about time of the day, money, health and the like is posing there as a way to simulate a freed form sandbox. The first thing you should be doing is questionng if it is REALLY necessary and if it is actually what you want doing. Is the game actually about managing time, taking care of health, hoarding money and so on? The sensation I had playing the game for about one hour was that it actually didnt need that things. You wanted the game could work with it, but it is not a must. Set your game system based on what you need to make the game work. Don't try making a game around a game system just because it looks cool. (Ok, there are very few exceptions, I must admit. So, it makes a rule)
I believe that the major flaw in the game - That happens to many dating, procedural, loop, freeform, sandbox games - is the lack of a driving force. If you look at GTA, there is a lot of cutscenes to set driving forces. Mario has a driving force. Perhaps you could be far more successful if you try telling a story and then place some freedom in it, than setting a sandbox and hope it fix itself.
It kind of brings me to a certain type of discussion where I admit I'm very open to debate right because I'm not 100% sure what I'm saying, but... I think you woul be happier by using a Gamebook instead f a parser, because the material you have is far more story oriented than puzzle oriented. Parsers are for puzzles. It demands the player to understand a situation and the try to combine things and solve it. You may set any sorto of puzzls. What piece goes where, what symbls to press, mathermatical, logical... You may even set social or emotional puzzles. Track the behavior an change people's mood.. follow the tips on statements and try to make people more friendly... But still puzzles. And the try and error nature of prser makes storytellng a little weird. So, a change in style would be nice for the game.
Well... It is not my poison, as I am much more inclined to story telling than procedural games, but here goes my impressions.
It is quite good in terms of visual layou and font choice and color scheme. Simple, but very efficient.
The game itself is about wandering corridors and facing possible dangers, in the classic hack and slash fashion. The trick here is that rooms and pasages are random, so there is not way of telling what comes next. It also means the character has no options about navigating the space. It is more a game of wits (by reading the author's clues), guessing (by taking the right choice) and Luck (by dice rolling).
The game does not explains much of the system itself, but there is a link for the Balance system, what I found extremely too complex for real needs in general Iteractive Fiction, but what the author needed for this type of game. The good part is the computer does all the hard job. However, the game does not explains much of what really matters to the player or, for example, what each spell does.
There is a clever system of counting how many passages you had in order to determine if you explored the whole dungeon and got to the end of the game. A very good idea to solve the ramdominess nature of the whole thing.
So, for those who enjoys absolute lack of story, lack of character, ramdom events and a solid system going on loop, this is a very good and well rounded game. And I know there is a huge market for games like this, as looking through forums there is a lot of poeple trying to create games running by random events and looping systems or yet mimicking simulations.
As long it is your type of poison, the game is pretty good.
It is quite a test. There is abslutelly no descriptions and nothing actually going on. Like most of the initial works, it is juat a test. i suppose the designer had the ambition to creting something procedural, what is a trend. But it has not yet much content.
It took me a lot of time deciding if I should or not write a review. And the reason is because I do not want to be unfair and because some of my own personal theories.
The game is well written and honestly I found only one mistake. I am writing this review after just one pass, and I already found it pretty good.
For those afraid about what would be found into an adult game, I may say this one is very light. Even if the theme goes around BDSM, the game is not graphic nor has further descriptions of sexual acts.
In the sense of plot, it is not much elaborate, but is enough to put the story on the move. Even if the main argument is a little loose.
I feel it should be a character story. It has a fair large cast and there is an initial idea about the character. However, this is the limit. The game is all made of short, fast moving texts, quite in the way of traditional IF.
But there is a reason for IF to be this way. It is build in a way of present most of the fictional facts and scenarios without drawing much of the main character, so the player may put himself or herself in its shoes without much trouble.
I am personally really fond of giving players a full character and allow the roleplaying happen. Different from traditional IF, I think the experience gets better when the author offers a character and explores it and it's choices along the game.
I think it should be the case on this game here. The main character, the princess, and all other support NPCs deserved to be further explored.
Actually, in the aftermath, the game is about giving just a hint of a dubious routine and based on player's choices, narrates what is the character's future outcome.
Besides all the critics I hope be useful for both players and the designer, it is a very good game and I would recommend it.
The game started with tons of expectations and looked very promising. The idea of the terminal to investigate evidences and files was very cool, as well as the private mails too. The text is very good and clear, and the aesthetics chosen for the game screens is wonderful and places the player in the very mood for an investigation.
The problem is that the case is not really complex and there is not much to do about it, giving a really short experience in game terms. It would deserve a more complex case and some more investigation for the player, but as a test or a study of format, it was amazing and very well executed.
I suggest the author keep ding this sort of games. Very talented.
I like the lines, the pace, the amount of text. Just recommend you adjust content to avoid text scrolling after choices. Also, i liked having a character, what is rare here, and also liked the character is a female. However, it is an unfinished game. It is time to take it to an end, even if it is a limited end or a short term game.
Right... I am giving it a 3 stars, and here goes the why:
It is a very simple and straight forward game. There are not many options, for real, and those the player faces are not of real great impact. In some cases i found the author used illusion of choice.
Also, the game is made with the vague and short usual interactive fiction text. Even if many interactive fiction theorists defends such way of writing in favor of projecting player's self and other tricks, i do not find it as interesting as having an actual character. Also, there is so much vagueness in the text that the game is much more an adventure game than a horror one.
There is a broken text about a corpse which is there, vanishes and then is there once again.
There is the great search in the house, which gives you a map, and after the player finishes investigating all, a new place comes into the game. It would be interesting if the search had something linked to the map, as a resource to take a better decision. Also, searching the whole house is just a waste of time. There are very weak consequences on the choices of this search. This would be better explored.
Finnally, the game simply ends before the actual end. It needs finishing. For the amount of text, choices and the lack of programming, i imagine the three months time of production relates to story working and polishing. I suggest the author work first on plot, make a page's plan and then get into actual writing. It saves us from organizational troubles.
It is not a bad story. It is just a bad game. It is well written and without mistypes (or almost none), however is not a game itself. At the moments you are not merely requested to turn the page, there is the option which continues the story and the option which ends the game. It would be easier just writing regular fiction intead of interactive fiction.
I risk rating the game as good. Because it comes from interesting premises, has a strong foot on word play underlining the foreplay in the game and because it represents a lesbian encounter,what is a theme i like exploring and never seen before here. However, the game suffer from a very common syndrome on interactive fiction, which is always dealing with player in second person. It works pretty well on generic games, with generic lines and any non personal connection. However, this is the sort of game where a character is not only necessary, but is also somewhat suggested. So, for having a full experience, i suppose both should be needed: changing the game to third person narrative and a more complex description about the character suggested.
It is a good game, for sure! The author put a lot of work and energy on it and the text is elaborate and catches your attention. The beginning seems to be more "error free" than the rest of the game, because in time complexity increases. There is a little mispelling on the first page, I guess, and some wrong text scripts running later, but not compromising the experience.
I am not sure if I am a fan to repeating the same action in order to complete a task, but it is a way of seeing the game design and not a problem itself.
I got stuck at some point, but I am not sure if I was just not finding a way to progress or it was a design problem. I hope the first. What I missed a lot was chances for gaining information. Specially inside the tower. The usual "look at room " did not respond.
Also another typical Parser problem is dealing with NPCs. In this case, the only reasonable character I could interact was not of much use. However, it is pretty cool seeing the author's finesse on bothering on some non vital details.
Ok. I am giving a 2 stars rate because there is some text well written. By some text, I mean the game is not very long.
I am fully ok on whatever kink or fetish you want exploring in games and I try to still open minded to test even those I am not fond of.
However this game lacks some coherency on its very proposal and is also too straightforward into one plot line. Honestly, leave the tent and you die because you return home is a way of saying "still in the kink or I punish you ". I understand that when you plan exploring a theme, the designer will tend to keep options withing the theme. But giving no clue about the options at hand and finishing the game because of a "wrong" but logical choice is a problem.
The game is pretty basic and straightforward. When multiple choices rises, there are only three possible outcomes: a loop, a death or proceed to the guided story, without any possible unfolds. Also, it creates only the illusion of choice, as there is no mechanics involved. As an example, if you shoot an arrow, you may select where to hit from three choices. Two takes to loop. Only one moves the story.
I am giving a rate of 2 because it has no grammar error at the one line pages, there are nice images and it is themed on a Brazilian Literature Classic.
Another game with a good potential. Seems the author, after checking the use of some of Quest resources, decided just to let player win after solving a simple puzzle. It is not a complete game, have minor problems - like referring to a puzzle already solved - and a little bit vague context, but would go in a good direction if completed. Genuinely sci-fi themed.
Ok. As people uses o say, "Looks as a beta". The author decided using the old-fashioned text aesthetics, what may be a little tiring, but has personality. There is a factor which bothers me a little, about giving player no further clue about what is happening and what the mission or objectives are, The synopsis says you are looking for members of a previous expedition, but you walk over mars as a tourist and finds a settlement with grass, for example, suggesting terraforming. It is a little bit out of context as the games offers no feed back about what should be taken as common or not. So, i did not know what to thing about a calm village on mars.
There are certain "buggy" elements, like the help talking about the compass which is not on, or having not "Look at" commands for elements described and certainly are important. I had a hard time trying to use a fountain to fill up a water bottle. Also, there is a binoculars, which seems to be designed to be an important element. However, everywhere i used it i got the very same description.
The selected theme seems to be a good ground for doing some research about space exploration and giving player a nice experience, but the very presence of a blaster pistol seems not pointing that directions. I got stuck and the game got more and more confusing. I guess much of the text should be re-worked and the game demands some care on building up the in-game objects.
Has a nice potential, but seems not tested enough yet to sove these problems and allow player proceeding n the plot.
Very well, people. It should be at comedy, and not sci-fi section. It is a little bit surprising, as we do not see many games in Portuguese language here, and as i can see, this is Brazilian Portuguese.
Well, let's say the game has vague descriptions, a strange pacing of action, is a game gook - however lacking the "book" part of it - and is very short. Perhaps the best reason to place it as sci-fi is because it is light years away from a complete work. Look more as an experiment about the tool. The feeling is that the author do not took much time about what write on the game. Would be considered as a test, using humor "kind of" inspired on hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy.
I almost rated 1.
The general idea of a Star Trek parody is not a bad one. However, demands more effort.
This is a good game, indeed. I got a little tired because the repetition and the guessing game, but it is all around a very interesting premise and a nice story behind it too. I prefer game books than adventures, however this game gave not enough of the "book" element.