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If Comp 2013

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Trapped in Time, by Simon Christiansen

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Pleasantly surprising (5 Stars), November 11, 2013
by Mrs. Info-adventurer (The world)
Related reviews: If Comp 2013
I have to say, this game surprised me.

When I began to play Trapped in Time, my first thought was, "What is this? This isn't interactive fiction!" The game, in itself, looks more like a stylized Choose Your Own Adventure book than a text adventure game. Once I got into the swing of things, I realized how well this format works for this game (specifically), especially compared to some other formats. (Spoiler - click to show) What I'm trying to say is that the way that the game is formatted contributes to the game as much as the characters and items combined. The thing that I liked most about the format was how it was implemented. (Spoiler - click to show) For example, when I discovered that I was sub-consciencally time traveling or how, when you re-start the game, you realize that you haven't escaped your fate.

The way you play the game is simple. It's a lot like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, only not everything is immediately revealed to you. As you gain knowledge and items, you acquire the ability to add certain numbers to use a new action. This presents a small problem, because if you add incorrectly (as I once did), you end up reading ahead a little bit. Not to worry, there's a walkthrough on the last two pages in case you need to re-check your math skills. I also liked how, unlike a Choose Your Own Adventure book, I didn't need to write down page numbers (or doggy ear pages :P) to help me remember that there's another branch of the story that I left unexplored. I was able to return to the main path quickly and easily; for, when I seemed to stray a bit, the game reminded me which page number I needed to return to in order to go back. I completed Trapped in Time in one glorious, one and a half hour sitting.

On a side note, I rather enjoyed the author's writing style. If his style was a little different, the game would have felt more like a CYOA book and less like an IF game. The only issue that I have concerns the _________ (your name here) that appears three times throughout the story. I think that the author should remove it and give the main character a name, as it disrupts the natural flow of reading.

All in all, I loved this game. It's a little unique, well written, and I highly recommend that you play it. It also gives me hope, because if I write in this format, I may finally be able to write interactive fiction... Sort of... e-o (I can't program to save my life) Thank you Simon for the awesome game; I hope that everyone will play it.


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