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4 Stars IFReview Rating Jet-Blue

IFReviewed by Greg Boettcher on 2006-05-22 08:54 

Game Profile

Author
Paul T. Johnson

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Inform6

Release Year
2004

IFR Overall Rating
4 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator

It's hard to know where to begin with Jet-Blue. On the down site, it wins the award for "most typo-infested game of 2004." On the up side, its story isn't bad, and it has some rather intriguing puzzles. For a while, I was able to get past the writing and feel involved with the game. I kept wanting to win, and I stuck with the game to its end. Ultimately, however, I ended up not liking it due to further problems. Programming and design flaws turned puzzles that should have been fun into unfair roadblocks. Although I did like this game in some respects, in the end I have to give it one thumb up and three thumbs down.

After a bizarre opening segment, you wake up on an alien planet where your spaceship has crash-landed. You survived the crash, but you sustained a head injury, and now you no longer remember who you are. I recently heard Paul O'Brian use the expression YAPCWA (yet another PC with amnesia), and here it is again, but at least in this case the crash-landing and head injury make it plausible. So you explore the crash site, and soon you find indications of sabotage. Also, you find that the ship crash-landed near a mysterious tomb on the planet's surface. There are many mysteries to uncover here.

Unfortunately, the worst part of this game is its writing, which, to be honest, is quite bad. There are spelling problems, apostrophe problems ("on it's side"), capitalization problems ("You can see a Space Suit here"), spacing problems (up to four blank lines in a row), and general typos ("Nothing happens.a"). These mistakes are not rare; you can find them on almost every screen of text.

Other flaws stand out. Items mentioned in room descriptions aren't always implemented. Also, bizarrely, you can carry items with you as you enter into flashbacks or dreams. Surely this wasn't done on purpose?

As far as puzzles go, they are clever, well-conceived, and satisfying to solve, but they are not always well-executed. For one thing, most them aren't well-clued. In one case I tried to "TURN ON" an object, but got "That's not something you can switch," which was totally untrue and should have been replaced by, "It's not immediately obvious how to turn that on." But the bigger problem was guess-the-word situations, which turned puzzles that should have been moderately easy into nearly impassible roadblocks. If you're going to play this game, you'd better be prepared to guess the verb, guess the synonym, and guess the syntax. I never would have gotten through Jet-Blue without several prods in the right direction from Zachary from r.g.i-f. Thanks, Zack. Maybe I will upload a walkthrough to the archive so that more people can enjoy this game.

This game could have been good, but sadly it didn't live up to its potential. On the other hand, it's mostly playable, and some people will find stuff to enjoy here. I'd recommend this game to anyone who likes science fiction, enjoys good puzzles, and is prepared to put up with the above flaws. And by the way, the game promises "a prize for every player who completes the game," and it delivers! So, win this game, get a prize.

    Greg Boettcher Profile

    IFReviewer Rating
    5 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

    Name Greg Boettcher
    Gender Male