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8 Stars IFReview Rating Vespers

IFReviewed by Reiko Yukawa on 2006-08-30 01:34 

Game Profile

Author
Jason Devlin

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Inform6

Release Year
2005

IFR Overall Rating
8 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
I'm not sure this review can do this game justice, but this was one of the most intriguing games of the entire competition.

The theme is medieval plague fiction, which immediately made me think of books like The Domesday Book or The Name of the Rose.

It's really closer to the latter, though, due to the monastery setting and all.

The writing is dark and well-done - the best part of this strange, twisted piece. Madness abounds, but it seems a rather calculating madness for all that.

At first I liked the Bible quotes, but then they started to be fake, and I didn't like them anymore. Especially when they started telling me what to do. The characters are quite vivid and all have opinions of each other.

The problem I had with it though was that I couldn't finish it. I kept dying fairly far into the game, so I was never able to find out exactly what was going on. Part of this may be because the game initially steers the player toward somewhat of the "dark side," and it is very difficult to find a way through while staying on the "light side."

At first I tried a few things that it said to do just to find out if it was actually going to let me do them, but then when it did, I stopped following what it said. But then I lost track of how to proceed.

The game does contain some not-quite-instadeath places, in the sense that if a particular action is not taken at a particular time, then one or two turns later, the player dies, the first time with little or no warning that the death is coming.

Other than that, the writing is excellent and the atmosphere is even better. Highly recommended.

Vespers Awards

    1st place on the 2005 Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (11th Edition).
    1st place Miss Congeniality on the 2005 Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (11th Edition).
    Best Game on the 2005 Xyzzy Awards.
    Best Writing on the 2005 Xyzzy Awards.
    Best Setting on the 2005 Xyzzy Awards.
    Best NPCs on the 2005 Xyzzy Awards.

Reiko Yukawa Profile

IFReviewer Rating
8 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Reiko Yukawa
Gender Female