IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin
on 2006-07-01 04:15
I knew I was going to like this game from the first line. "The sun has gone. It must be brought. You have a rock." It's my favorite opening line of the competition. (Yes, I peeked at most of the opening lines before I started playing games.)
The author flings standard English out the window, slaps you on the ass, and sets you on your way. Some of the world is described in fairly concrete terms; some is comprehensible through a whirlwind of adjectives-turned-verb and verbed nouns; some is entirely confusing. But there's plenty there to walk around and get hold of, so it's a playable game. Which is the point.
Most surrealistic games have taken the "journey through the soul" tack. I enjoyed coming across one that was completely opaque. If the game world is a metaphor, nobody but the author will ever understand it.
Not that I felt lost. The forces and goals of the world were quite clear. In fact, the best thing about this game is that even though nothing made sense, everything made sense. I solved nearly everything on my own. The biggest problem I had was not realizing that a particular object was takeable.
One puzzle can be put in an unwinnable state without any forewarning. The game warns you immediately when it happens, with an out-of-band "You feel like you're missing something" message -- an effective but inelegant patch. It would be nicer if the situation was reversible. But I guess I can't think of a good way to do that either.