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7 Stars IFReview Rating Hell: A Comedy of Errors

IFReviewed by Jacqueline A. Lott on 2006-07-21 07:05 

Game Profile

Author
John Evans

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Inform6

Release Year
2002

IFR Overall Rating
5 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
I enjoy the overall concept, which is somewhat unsettling. By that, I mean that both the concept as well as the fact that I seemed to enjoy it were unsettling. I love the idea of being able to form my character, though I wasn’t able to discover how my initial choices in molding my gender and form had an effect in the overall story. I thought that the piece was very well written overall, though there were a few phrases that appeared now and then which seemed to break with the general theme of the game. I also enjoyed some of the amusing ways that you could torture souls, but some of the methods, such as torture by accountant, seemed out of place. I’m not sure why such means seemed out of place; perhaps it was because of the writing style, which seemed more mature and serious.

Let me preface what I’m about to say with the fact that I did enjoy this story, and would like to see it worked upon a bit more. I had two problems with Hell. The first problem had to do with disambiguation. It was really quite difficult at times to tell the game what you wanted to buy, and I was actually unsuccessful in purchasing some items, no matter how I phrased my sentence. It was a pain to keep typing ‘look up X in book,’ but read book only told me to use the phrase ‘look up’ and using only the phrase ‘look up X’ often resulted in a disambiguation problem where the game thought I wanted to look up a topic in a completely crazy object, such as another demon. Such disambiguation problems led to frustration, and, ultimately, I gave up on the game far too soon as a result. My second problem with the story would probably have resolved itself, were it not for the fact that I was frustrated and gave up - the story started quickly and grabbed my interest, but then it seemed to go nowhere. I tortured four or five souls, and sure, my score went up, but what then? I promise to revisit this game after the comp, with the hope that it does actually go somewhere beyond Torture X to Achieve Score Y.

And before wrapping up this review, let me again comment on the vivid writing style of the author. This is the game’s best asset.

Jacqueline A. Lott Profile

Name Jacqueline A. Lott
Gender Female