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8 Stars IFReview Rating The Tales of the Traveling Swordsman

IFReviewed by Victor Gijsbers on 2007-04-08 11:22 

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8 Stars IFR Overall Rating
The Traveling Swordsman ended fourth place in the IF Competition, and went home with the Best Story Xyzzy Award, so that should be ample indication that this game is fun. And it is: a whole lot of fun, really entertaining. Perhaps that is also its greatest weakness: the game is entertainment. Good entertainment, but as entertainment is wont to have, it has all the depth of a surf board.

One impressive thing about The Traveling Swordsman (also known as Tales of the Traveling Swordsman) is how smooth it is. The implementation is very polished, the actions are always pretty logical, and although there are puzzles to solve, you nevertheless feel carried away on an exciting adventure. Only the final scenes are a bit less polished and natural, especially the confrontation with the final enemy; but by that time the game has enough credit to keep you trying. (A post-comp release that smooths out these wrinkles would be greatly appreciated.)

But, as I said, the game doesn't really go any deeper than the surface. Actually, something is going on beneath the surface, but this is more a gimmick than an interesting theme. My advice: play it, but don't expect deep characterisation, moral choices or literary themes.

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Name Victor Gijsbers
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