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5 Stars IFReview Rating Wearing the Claw

IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 07:49 

Game Profile

Author
Paul O'Brian

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Inform6 and Inform6

Release Year
1996

IFR Overall Rating
5 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
Nice idea for a theme and story, but kind of hard to follow. I, uh, never did find that carving that's supposed to explain what the coat does. That probably didn't help.

The author seemed to be too eager to explain things. The whole illusion motif got spelled out before I really had a chance to recognize it. Or maybe I wouldn't have recognized it before I won, but that's more because the game is so small than any deficit in the writing. The three tests went by too quickly to really differentiate the magic in the game from its surroundings. Did that make sense? Probably not; it's two in the morning. Basically, I'm saying that the fortress would have felt better if it were filled out with the same amount of care and detail that went into the village and beach.

Another thing that left me somewhat adrift was the switches between illusion and reality. There was no message that led me to believe that anything had changed. Maybe the author intended that effect, the world changing without any sensation of change -- it's certainly a disorienting effect when it really happens to you. But it's hard to convey in IF. For example, at one point I did something that affected my perceptions, without realizing it. Then I typed a command which (of course) didn't work. So I scrolled the text window up to see what I'd done wrong. If I'd typed "look" I would have seen the difference, but I had no reason not to scroll up instead. Some kind of message about changed perceptions would have fixed all that. Even a simple "Something changes." (The hints are very explicit on this subject, which leads me to believe that other people got confused too.)

Oh, and it would have been cool if there had been another layer of deception. Just my personal story-telling preference. Plots with only one stratum are too common.

Andrew Plotkin Profile

IFReviewer Rating
9 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Andrew Plotkin
Gender Male

This IFReviewer IFReviews

- 1-2-3...
- A Crimson Spring
- A Day for Soft Food
- A Day In The Life Of A Superhero
- A Good Breakfast
- A Light's Tale
- A Moment of Hope
- A New Day
- A Night Guest
- Aayela
- Acid Whiplash
- Ad Verbum
- Aftermath
- Alien Abduction?
- All Roads
- All Things Devours
- an apple from nowhere
- Arrival, or Attack of the B-Movie Cliches
- Asendent
- At Wit's End
- Aunt Nancy's House
- Babel
- Bane of the Builders
- Beat the Devil
- Bellclap
- Best of Three
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- Breaking the Code
- Calliope
- Carma
- CASK
- Castle Amnos
- Castlemaze
- Cattus Atrox
- Chaos
- Chicks Dig Jerks
- Chronicle Play Torn
- coffee quest II
- Color and Number
- Coming Home
- Comp00ter Game
- Constraints
- Death to my Enemies
- Delusions
- Desert Heat: A Romance Of Sorts
- Dinner with Andre
- Downtown Tokyo, Present Day
- E-Mailbox
- Earth and Sky 1
- Earth and Sky 2: Another Earth, Another Sky
- Earth And Sky 3: Luminous Horizon
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- Evacuate
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- Fifteen
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- For a Change
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- Got ID?
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- Halothane
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- Hell: A Comedy of Errors
- Human Resources Stories
- I Must Play
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- In the End
- In the Spotlight
- Informatory
- Jacks or Better to Murder, Aces to Win
- Janitor
- Jarod's Journey
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- Jump
- Kaged
- King Arthur's Night Out
- Kissing the Buddha's Feet
- Koan
- Kurusu City
- Letters from Home
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- Of Forms Unknown
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- Piece of Mind
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- PTBAD 3
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- Punkirita Quest 1: Liquid
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- Ramon and Jonathan
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- Research Dig
- Return to Zork: Another Story
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- Ritual of Purification
- Ruined Robots
- Scary House Amulet!
- Schroedinger's Cat
- Screen
- She's Got a Thing for a Spring
- Silicon Castles
- Sins Against Mimesis
- Six Stories
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- Square Circle
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- Stargazer: An Adventure In Outfitting
- Stick It to the Man
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- Sting Of The Wasp
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- Sylenius Mysterium
- Symetry
- Tapestry
- Temple of the Orc Mage
- The Best Man
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- The Edifice
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- The Evil Sorcerer
- The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang
- The Gostak
- The Granite Book
- The Great Xavio
- The HeBGB Horror!
- The Lost Spellmaker
- The Masque of the Last Faeries
- The Meteor, The Stone And A Long Glass Of Sherbet
- The Moonlit Tower
- The Newcomer
- The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf
- The Orion Agenda
- The Pickpocket
- The Plant
- The Realm
- The Tempest
- The Temple
- The Trip
- The Water Bird
- Thorfinn's Realm
- Threading the Labyrinth
- Till Death Makes a Monk-Fish Out of Me!
- Tookie's Song
- Trading Punches
- Transfer
- Trapped in a One-Room Dilly
- Travels in the Land of Erden
- Typo
- Unnkulia X: Escape of the Sacrificed
- Vicious Cycles
- VirtuaTech
- Volcano Isle
- What-IF?
- When Help Collides
- Where Evil Dwells
- Who Created That Monster?
- Winter Wonderland
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Yes, Another Game With A Dragon!
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