IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 08:05
Well, I was a beta-tester and I sank some serious commentary into the game. So my biased opinion is, it's terrific.
There's a huge number of things to play with; just plain old beach stuff. You can dig holes and build castles and jump on the castles. You can tie things to other things. (This is the most complete set of ropes-and-straps code that I've ever seen in a game. Most of it is just for fun.)
The writing is detailed and embellished -- some will probably say overembellished, but you can live with it. It does tell you things a little more than it should, as opposed to showing them; this is mostly in the "score" messages. But that's mostly to clue the player about which way the game should go.
Simple, affecting storyline.
Also, may I note that this game brings new meaning to the way of easter eggs. Try "xyzzy" on the end of the pier, or "say 'hello sailor'" (and then ask the old man about the girl, several times.) Rich stuff.
Too bad I'm not voting on this game, because this is the most positive review I've written thus far. Heh.