IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-07-01 04:42
A very spare game. Most of the scenes are one or two rooms, and you can only do one thing -- possibly with a few fatal alternatives. The goal-guiding is rather too immediate and heavy-handed for me. Yes, I'm involved, but I'm not making a whole lot of policy decisions.
If you don't figure out the thing-to-do in a scene, of course, the game grinds to a halt very quickly. That's what happened to me. I got to a particular room, which seems to have only two objects, no exits, and one meaningful action. That gets you killed. Lacking any toe-holds to get a grasp on the game, I gave up.
And that was after two tight squeaks. The opening scene seems to be buggy; most of the actions that seem reasonable give an inappropriate response -- they seem to be parsed as something else entirely. That blanks out all the clues about what you should be doing. The second scene is better -- at least, I didn't see any bugs -- but it still took me a few minutes to think of the solution.
The story was pretty interesting up to that point, which is frustrating. I'm curious whether the dark hints about your ship and captain turn out relevant to the plot. I won't know until after the competition, unfortunately.