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5 Stars IFReview Rating The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang

IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 08:20 

Game Profile

Author
Neil deMause

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Tads2

Release Year
1997

IFR Overall Rating
6 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
Well-written but unsolvable. Need I say more?

Ok, I should. This is a superhero parody romp; credit is given to "The Tick", if I recognize the name aright. It is unusual in that you are the leader of a superhero team, the Frenetic Five.

The fun here is managing your team and their powers. And their personalities. There's a lot of detail here; they make smart comments, react to your actions (or lack thereof), and they each have their own annoying habits. This is all very good. And I loved the lobster.

Unfortunately, the parsing is weak ("adapt fork" produces "You don't see any adapt here," when your super-power is supposed to me adapting anything into a tool.) The syntax for commanding NPCs is also shaky, and usually works only for the few commands which are relevant to the plot. This is obviously a problem in a team game.

And the ending seems to fall apart completely. The problem of untying yourself is solved by a rather contrived sequence which, at the least, needs more synonyms. And when you face Sturm and (I mean "und") Drang, I really don't know what the hell is going on. You're separated from them by a skylight, but this doesn't seem to prevent you from touching them or their evil device. The commands in the walkthrough don't seem to do anything, and following the walkthrough doesn't actually end the game.

I feel like the author didn't finish writing the game. When it is finished, I'll highly recommend it.

(Footnote: I tried it again, and I saw what I was doing wrong. I managed to finish now. I still hold to my judgement; there needs to be a lot more detail text in there. I was confused because the wrong character was holding the bedsheet, and nothing at all happened instead of the wrong thing happening. As I said, needs more work.)

Andrew Plotkin Profile

IFReviewer Rating
9 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Andrew Plotkin
Gender Male

Also IFReviewed by

Paul OBrian

This IFReviewer IFReviews

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