IFRO

It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man's insecurity before himself and before nature.
Albert Einstein


Login | Register


Username:
Password:

Who is Online

We have 676 registered Members.

There are no Members online.

There are 8 Guests online.

3 Stars IFReview Rating Cattus Atrox

IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 08:59 

Game Profile

Author
David Cornelson

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Inform6

Release Year
1998

IFR Overall Rating
3 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
This is a (non-supernatural) horror storyline. Unfortunately, it's not very horrific. To explain why, I'm going to go into more detail about the storyline than most of these reviews, so skip the rest if you dislike spoilers.

It begins with a station wagon pacing you on a dark, foggy night. This is a good start, actually; the thing creeps alongside you as you walk home, betraying no sign of what's inside. It lets you get nearly all the way, too.

Then it stops, blocking you from your house, and... a man and six lions get out. This is my first problem; in fact, my first two problems. I don't think you can get six lions in a station wagon without a blender. Ok, that's a quibble. But the lions just aren't very scary. Maybe our culture has desensitized us with "noble hunter" images, but even so, when you look around and the game says "...You also see a lion, a lioness, and four lion cubs," it's not doing enough to get the mood across.

So you spend some time running from lions. This picks up the pace again, as you wander around a claustrophobic maze of streets. (Although there are some odd hitches -- for example, until you take your first step away from the car, you can wait as long as you want with no response from the lions or their owner.)

So you finally get in contact with someone who will help. You go back to a friend's house... and then the game pretty much ends. The place of safety turns out to be the lions' den, pardon me for grounding my own metaphor, and you're drugged. (Without even the grace of typing "drink liquid" yourself; the game just tells you you've done it.) You can't move.

So you spend the last twenty moves typing "wait" and watching some people be gratuitously exhibitionistic and then kill you. I must regard this as a failure of pacing. There isn't much explanation, either, except that for a hint that you were... hard to work with at the office?

It's hard to avoid comparing this with the Laurell Hamilton "Anita Blake" novels, which have included some hellishly charged scenes of sex, violence, and leopards. (Were-leopards, in fact.) Those worked because of the prose, the clear evocation of the emotional currents behind the events, and the fact that Anita wasn't a passive victim. (Was, in fact, active enough to eventually make mincemeat of the were-leopard and anyone else that annoyed her. I realize that Cattus Atrox was never intended to have a happy ending. But it should have an involving ending; that's the strength of interactive fiction, we generally agree.)

Andrew Plotkin Profile

IFReviewer Rating
9 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Andrew Plotkin
Gender Male

Also IFReviewed by

Paul OBrian

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
- Blink
- Bliss
- Blue Chairs
- Blue Sky
- Breaking the Code
- Calliope
- Carma
- CASK
- Castle Amnos
- Castlemaze
- 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
- Elements
- Enlightenment
- Enlisted
- Erehwon
- Eric's Gift
- Evacuate
- Exhibition
- Fear
- Fifteen
- Fine Tuned
- For a Change
- Fort Aegea
- Four in One
- Four Seconds
- Friday Afternoon
- Fusillade
- Glowgrass
- Goose, Egg, Badger
- Got ID?
- Grayscale
- Guard Duty
- Guess the Verb!
- Halothane
- Happy Ever After
- Hell: A Comedy of Errors
- Human Resources Stories
- I Must Play
- Identity
- Identity Thief
- In the End
- In the Spotlight
- Informatory
- Jacks or Better to Murder, Aces to Win
- Janitor
- Jarod's Journey
- Journey from an Islet
- Jump
- Kaged
- King Arthur's Night Out
- Kissing the Buddha's Feet
- Koan
- Kurusu City
- Letters from Home
- Life on Beal Street
- Lightiania
- Little Blue Men
- Lomalow
- Lurk. Unite. Die. Invent. Think. Expire.
- Magocracy
- Maiden of the Moonlight
- Masquerade
- Metamorphoses
- Mingsheng
- Moonbase
- Mother Loose
- Murder At The Aero Club
- Muse: An Autumn Romance
- Music Education
- My Angel
- MythTale
- Nevermore
- Of Forms Unknown
- On the Farm
- Only After Dark
- Order
- Outsided
- Pass the Banana
- Phlegm
- Photopia
- Phred Phontious and the Quest for Pizza
- Piece of Mind
- Planet of the Infinite Minds
- Poor Zefron's Almanac
- Prized Possession
- Prodly the Puffin
- PTBAD 3
- Punk Points
- Punkirita Quest 1: Liquid
- Purple
- Ralph
- Rameses
- Ramon and Jonathan
- Redeye
- Remembrance
- Research Dig
- Return to Zork: Another Story
- Reverberations
- Rippled Flesh
- 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
- Small World
- Spacestation
- Splashdown
- Spodgeville Murphy and the Jewelled Eye of Wossname
- Square Circle
- Stack Overflow
- Stargazer: An Adventure In Outfitting
- Stick It to the Man
- Stiffy Makane: The Undiscovered Country
- Sting Of The Wasp
- Stone Cell
- Strangers in the Night
- Stupid Kittens
- Sun and Moon
- Sunset Over Savannah
- Sylenius Mysterium
- Symetry
- Tapestry
- Temple of the Orc Mage
- The Best Man
- The Big Mama
- The Big Scoop
- The Case of Samuel Gregor
- The City
- The Clock
- The Cruise
- The Djinni Chronicles
- The Edifice
- The End Means Escape
- 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
- Wearing the Claw
- What-IF?
- When Help Collides
- Where Evil Dwells
- Who Created That Monster?
- Winter Wonderland
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Yes, Another Game With A Dragon!
- You Are Here
- Zero One
- Zero Sum Game