IFReviewed by Jacqueline A. Lott
on 2006-07-21 07:55
Well, this one was certainly original.
I can't write too much without giving away a great deal, so I'll just touch on what I did and did not enjoy in the vaguest of ways. I really enjoyed the art, and felt it to be one of the strongest points of the game - part of me stuck with the piece merely to see more of Peretti's drawings, some of which were quite stunning. While perhaps none of the themes in the piece are original, the way in which they were stitched together made for a rather original storyline that prsented me with a surprise now and then; while linear and somewhat painful at times, it was intriguing enough that I played the piece through to completion, though I'm certain I went beyond two hours to do so. I liked the hint system quite a bit - it fit well within the framework of the game and gave nudges without pushing too hard. Technically speaking, I don't remember hitting any real bugs, though there was one puzzle that I had difficulty solving because I tried to use the word 'open' instead of 'move,' when both were probably appropriate.
I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more had the English been more polished. And here we go again with my eternal empathy toward foreign-language entries in the IFcomp. I hate to hold the terse, jumpy prose against the authors when they're obviously not native speakers of the language... and I'm not overtly holding it against them (I'm not taking points off for grammar and spelling, which is something I love to do). I have a great deal of respect for them for entering this comp - God knows it'll be a long time, if ever, that I decide to write a game in another language, or that if I do (it would be a lovely exercise to translate one of my games into French or Spanish) I wouldn't enter it in a comp. Hats off to them for bravery on that count. But in the end, I just couldn't enjoy it quite so much as I might have if it had been polished a bit more with respect to prose.
The only other thing I didn't enjoy was that some of the interludes seemed a bit pointless, and that they were merely inserted so as to not break a pattern that had been established within the game. The game was far too linear, but that's a difficult trap to avoid in this genre.
Overall, good work. Had the prose been a bit more polished and the conversations a little less choppy and linear, I would have given it an eight. Had the art not been so stunning and worked so well with the text, I would have given it a six. As it is, I'll give it a seven.