Monday, October 19, 2009

Short Thoughts On IF Comp 2009 Games V

The Duel That Spanned The Ages: Episode One: The Age Of Machines: Apart from the unwieldy title, this is quite good.

The game is very much like an IF version of a SF corridor shooter (think Doom with world building ambitions). Now, that's not really the sort of experience I look for in my Interactive Fiction, but it is well paced and well done with simple and mostly logical puzzles and enticing hints at an interesting backstory (to be revealed in Episode Two, I suppose?). It's really rather fun in an action movie type of way. I would have wished for a slightly more flavorful implementation of the protagonist's physical state (two broken legs should be painful enough to colour every description of movement, and not just an impediment for jumping, for example), a few random spider attacks less (because shooting the first one already showed that I understood how to get rid of them - further repetition seemed a little boring), and a slightly grander feeling finale, although I approve of the importance of the "smash" command (insert appropriate "puny humans" joke here).


Beta Tester: What I have seen of the writing here is pretty funny, alas it being a puzzle heavy game (or so I suppose) without in-game hints or a walkthrough and me being bad at puzzles means that I got stuck very early on without any possibility to continue.

As an impatient kind of guy, I interpret this as "the author doesn't actually want me to play his game", hand out a low vote, and play something else.


The Believable Adventures of Invisible Man: Turns out that being invisible isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I was surprised to learn that getting around while being invisible is more difficult than it would be for a visible person - at least if you want to carry something around with you. The puzzles here are a mix of bad adventure game logic and tediousness. The nasty tone of the game's humor and its tendency to make something that should be exciting (I'm invisible, for Cthulhu's sake!) into just another chore to muddle through don't do much to endear it to me either. (Also, "undress" is a command worth implementing if the protagonist is going to drop his or her clothes).


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