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4 Stars IFReview Rating Delvyn

IFReviewed by Emily Short on 2006-08-01 03:50 

Game Profile

Author
William A. Tilli

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Tads2

Release Year
2003

IFR Overall Rating
4 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
Rating: 4
Played to completion?: No
Number of Saves: 0

This game shares a quality with the bits of Amissville I saw: the author (or authors) combine an active imagination, a lively sense of the absurd, and a good eye for detail with exceptionally poor implementation. Despite the rough surface there are quite a few well-observed bits, both in setting and characterization. The way your (adoptive mother?) talks, the way she cooks and handles her cigarette, and the dilapidated state of the building you find are described in specific, memorable ways that hint at real-world models. This is all the more interesting to me because it's not a world I inhabit. It only happens in flashes -- sometimes the dialogue and descriptions are dull, non-existent, or simply tortured -- but nonetheless every once in a while I feel as though I am seeing how some real person really might view the world, in an environment and background very different from mine.

On the other hand, whatever the author's talents may be (I'm going to assume, for simplicity, that there's just the one), he also seems to take it as a point of principle to avoid any of the little features that make life easier for the player. Rooms sometimes lack descriptions, synonyms and directions that ought to be implemented aren't, and so on. I can see that the author and I have different approaches to implementation, and that from his point of view mine might be obsessively detailed to the point of clutter. He might even be right. But austerity is also a tricky thing to handle properly, because if you have a sparse room description and no further descriptions available to help the player visualize critical objects, the player may have no idea what to do next. And Delvyn's behavior is so odd in spots that you're not sure whether you're looking at deliberate surrealism or horrible bug.

In any case, I got stuck, and then I died of a hunger daemon, and then I heard through the grapevine that no one actually knew how to win. Oh well. Given, well, everything, I have the impression I would be disappointing the author if I actually liked this game.

Emily Short Profile

IFReviewer Rating
10 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Emily Short
Gender Female

Also IFReviewed by

Jacqueline A. Lott