IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-07-01 04:24
Um. Um um um.
I wish this hadn't been the first major experiment with multimedia TADS. Because (like In The End, three years ago), it's going to generate controversy for the wrong reasons.
This game is an engaging, well-narrated, visually attractive presentation of you sitting and listening to stories.
That's exactly how interactive it is. The author has put in one puzzle, which is very carefully kept separate from the stories. It doesn't tie in at all, which makes it rather anticlimactic -- at least to my sensibilities.
I like the stories. I have nothing bad to say about them. Compact fairy tales are a good thing. But, well, it's static fiction. As I complained about Exhibition (but even more so), it gains no new dimension for being implemented in an IF system.
Enough querulous whining. Some more technical comments:
The standard library is modified -- it's subtly more literate and polite. I like that. On the other hand, this leads to some unintentional TADS humor:
Pardon me, but your request is a bit ambiguous. To which trunk are you referring? The trunk or the trees?
I think this sort of game desperately needs a "review" command. When a large chunk of audio narration floats by, I find that I sometimes want to... scroll up. (If the stories were more tightly interwound, this would be even more true. They happen not to be, in this game -- but then, I didn't know that going in.) I'd like some way to repeat the audio script as text output.
[Footnote, added later: When I said "first major experiment with multimedia TADS", yes, I forgot about Arrival. Oops.]