IFReviewed by Jacqueline A. Lott on 2006-07-21 07:10
Hmm... this one is definitely reminiscent of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon with the elegant and mysterious nature of the writing. It is not at all meant to be condescending when I say that this is well written and programmed for a first-time author, but that there were some pitfalls. I sometimes had trouble revisiting objects that were mentioned in the initial description of a room without physically scrolling back to reread. >TAKE ALL includes long lists of why I can’t take scenery, and typing >TAKE ALL in the initial room of the game reveals a joke that, while cute, does not fit well with the overall feel of the game. There was a little guess-the-verb as well, and such things distract from play. All of this aside, the game is only a few minor programming tweaks away from being polished. I very much enjoyed the memories that came with examining each object and the way they painted a backdrop to the story. The undying garden was thoughtfully implemented, and I always appreciate a puzzle that is both beautiful and clever. Some of the tasks required to complete the game were things I would not have normally tried, so the subtle hints laced through the text were not altogether unwelcome. Overall, this was an enjoyable playing experience, with imagery that will not soon be forgotten.
An afterthought: I’ve heard talk that some players read all of those great background memories and thought they were in the prologue to a much larger game. They were therefore startled and disappointed when the game was suddenly over. In my opinion, smaller games are easier to polish, and we can always look forward to a continuation of this storyline in another game. Let us hope that this is not the only work we see from this new author.