Gratuitous Implementation of Kilts: YES
Even More Kilts: YES
Did I Mention the Kilts?: OCH YES DAMMIT
This game makes me happy from the very first screen. Mr. Merrick's research
into the topic of romance novels has clearly been thorough and exhaustive. Not
only has he got the plot devices to a T, but he has noted with care the required
vocabulary and syntax. I imagine that this deep and thorough knowledge of the
genre must be the result of reading at least one -- nay, perhaps as even many as
*two* -- pages of a romance, not to mention the back covers of several more.
How about the gameplay? The game features an extremely amusing puzzle, with
multiple amusing solutions. I am always in favor of this, and went back to
replay the game several times in order to see all the possibilities. The last
scene is a bit sketchier, in that it's harder to predict what the outcome of a
given course of action is going to be, and it seems a bit random sometimes when
something occurs. But on the whole I can forgive this; it's a flaw that could be
recovered from with a bit of judicious revision, and conversation systems are,
uh, notoriously difficult to tune.
Speaking of which, I guess I'm probably Required By Law (or at least custom)
to say something about the conversation system here. You decide you want to talk
and are presented with a menu, but you are granted some control over that menu
by the use of adverbs. Yes, adverbs: this is a game in which it is possible to
WHISPER HUSKILY. The tone choice has obvious effects on the menu system, so I
felt less like I was flailing in the dark than I did with tones in Varicella.
There are a few places where it is not as smooth as it hypothetically might be:
I tried TALK POLITELY a few times and found that my only option was something
along the lines of, "You unbelievable bastard," which, all things considered, it
is probably impossible to utter in a polite fashion however mincingly you form
But all this is beside the point. Another highly entertaining piece of work.