IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 09:09
Whew! Large and full of detail. The prose is awkward, but it doesn't cover up some of the creepiest scenery I've seen in a long time. Lots and lots of ancient, occult nastiness. Lots of active occult nastiness -- things crawl out and bite you, steal from you, infect you. The game tries to warn you about dangerous acts; after a while, I was ghoulishly anticipating how bad it could get. ("I lost fifty points! This ought to be impressive...")
Save often. The game is mostly good about warning you of dangerous acts, but it doesn't try to warn you about making the game unsolvable. (Besides, you have to undertake some dangerous acts, and there's no way to tell the necessary risks from the fatal ones. Technically that makes this the dreaded "learn by dying" game -- but the deaths are so wonderfully gruesome! How can you complain?)
I don't think the game is really solvable in its current state. Too many of the puzzle connections are way too obscure. And the feedback on a lot of the actions is inadequate. A lever which can be set left or right should accept "pull" and "push"; so should a hidden turnable handle. There's a lot of awkward implementation. But, again, the setting is so much fun that I forgave it. A lot of polish and a second release should make this a solid game.
I was disappointed by the oracle. It only had information about a few items -- it could have provided a lot more fun. (Plus, it allowed me to win with a score of 129 out of 100. Bit buggy there.)