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6 Stars IFReview Rating Elizabeth Hawke's Forever Always

IFReviewed by Emily Short on 2006-08-01 08:36 

Game Profile

Author
Iain Merrick

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Tads3

Release Year
2002

IFR Overall Rating
6 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
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 the syllables.

But all this is beside the point. Another highly entertaining piece of work.

    Emily Short Profile

    IFReviewer Rating
    10 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

    Name Emily Short
    Gender Female