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If we discovered that we only had five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them.
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7 Stars IFReview Rating A Moment of Hope

IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-07-01 04:21 

Game Profile

Author
Simmon Keith

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Tads2

Release Year
1999

IFR Overall Rating
6 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
Serves me right. I trash a game for being minimal, railroady, and lacking in policy decisions. The next game I play, I have to praise for being minimal, railroady, and lacking in policy decisions.

This game, as the title implies, illustrates one event (albeit in several scenes). It's -- grn, I'm lacking lit-crit vocabulary here. What do you call a complete narrative that isn't a complete story? Never mind.

You only have one thing-to-do at any point in the game. Your commands are basically limited to deciding when to do it. But it works. I think it's because, in this one moment, the character isn't doing much; the game is intended to convey what it's like to live through it.

And the subject matter supports this. Trying to decide whether to call a girl about a date: one does dither, look around the room, re-read messages, and generally waste time before (ideally) picking up the phone. A forced-move IF scene plays exactly that way; so it fits.

(I also like the way objects pop to your attention. The author gives you a smooth sequence of dithering and time-wasting, which keeps the game moving along.)

Later scenes don't work as well -- less to do, more retyping of a single command as the protagonist narrates -- but the whole holds together reasonably well.

The story is surprisingly complex. Maybe that's not the right term either; but the central gimmick, the computer dating service, has a peculiar set of rules, and the story makes no sense if you don't understand them. I understood them. The author gets that information across early and painlessly, which is vital.

Andrew Plotkin Profile

IFReviewer Rating
9 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Andrew Plotkin
Gender Male

Also IFReviewed by

Paul OBrian

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