IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 08:50
This, I think, will do.
I'm not even sure how to describe it; the story has a whole tangle of threads, marching backwards to tie into a painfully precise knot at the beginning. I keep going back to try different things, to see what might connect -- in case it does.
We have -- no, I shouldn't even list the subjects of discourse. Works better as a surprise. I was pleased that "IF authorship" was in there, though. :)
(Footnote: dammit, I just realized: the "bug" I thought I found early in the game is in fact deliberate. The game has now rated a bout of vicious swearing in addition to the three kow-tows I gave it during play.)
The plot is quite tightly constrained; you can't go far wrong. Choices tend to be alternate ways of getting to the next scene, rather than divergences in the plot. Even the puzzles provide solutions for themselves if you don't look for any. This works just fine, since the point of the game is the narrative. (I'm a little surprised at how well the optional-puzzle thing works -- but then this didn't happen to me much when I was playing. I ran into it when I was going back to try things.)
The scenes are supposed to be differentiated by color, but I played in MaxZip (which doesn't support that) and there were display bugs when I tried it in Zip Infinity. I'm not terribly enthused by the gimmick; yes, it adds atmosphere, but the color combinations are harder to read than my preferred text setup. (The purple-on-black combo would drive me nuts if there was more than a page or two of it.)
Zarf says "three kow-tows and a bout of swearing."