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5 Stars IFReview Rating August

IFReviewed by Emily Short on 2006-08-01 04:11 

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Matt Fendahleen


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IFR Overall Rating
5 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Peter Berman likes to talk about how he loves Detective in spite of (or perhaps because of) its flaws as a game, because (I guess) of some wacky untried innocence. August is not so incompetent a production as Detective, but it is plagued with the sorts of flaws that ordinarily make me roll my eyes and quit -- spelling, punctuation, line spacing errors, incorrectly listed exits, a relentless turgidity and purplitude of prose. And my first response was, "Damn, this is going to get panned. Damn."

Because, you see, I loved it unjustifiably. Unpolished in the extreme, lacking in many basic respects, but what it missed in craft it made up -- for me, in the moment that I played it -- in its passionate enthusiasm. There were glimpses, between the shoddy pasteboard backdrops the set, of some grand vistas of fantasy: deep-rooted trees, an old and terrible city, strong sorrows, great revenge. And the end pleased and grieved me, and so did the characters -- not the actual NPCs who moved about in shadow, hardly to be interacted with, but the characters they represented, of whom they were recognizable avatars the same way that a plastic spork is recognizably descended of the Platonic spoon.

Do I wax silly? Yes. Does this game invite that? Yes. Generally I am in favor of some refinement of programming skill and some self-restraint in the writing, but it's possible to go way way the other way and come with something curiously pleasing nonetheless.

Now, Matt: go thou and fix the bugs, 'kay?

    Emily Short Profile

    IFReviewer Rating
    10 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

    Name Emily Short
    Gender Female