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Reviews by Nusco

steampunk

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View this member's reviews by tag: experimental IF Competition 2004 IF Competition 2007 lovecraftian horror mature positive post-holocaust shoot-em-up short steampunk western
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Walker & Silhouette, by C.E.J. Pacian

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Another nice game from Pacian , June 21, 2010
by Nusco (Bologna, Italy)
Related reviews: steampunk
If C.E.J. Pacian keeps churning out little games of this quality and consistency, I'll have to go back to his other games and rate them all up one notch. As usual, Walker & Silhouette sports the author's trademark mix of pulp space-opera fiction, relentless pace and deliciously flawed characters.

In this game, Walker is an inhumanly smart crippled police detective specialized in solving freaky mysteries by sheer force of logic. His counterpart Silhouette is a passionate anarco-feminist bad girl with a big hearth. Together, they solve a case involving as much steampunk staples, English understatement and freaky accidents as Pacian can cram in a one-hour game. Both characters border on gender bending, and their nuanced mutual attraction works very well to keep this short game together. I'm regularly bored by romance in games, but Pacian's unusual approach to the topic actually works for me. You can feel that the author really likes and respects his characters.

Like Gun Mute, this game experiments with restricted input: in this case, you move the game forward by typing keywords rather than relying on the usual (semi)-free form IF commands. Although limiting, this device works well for such a short game, smoothing out the experience and preventing you from getting stuck. Pacian even manages to build a couple of puzzles around this limited parser, which gives you the feeling you're actually playing a game, although very linear, rather than reading a short story. The result is a small polished game that doesn't last long enough for you to suspend disbelief and actually question its calculatedly naive absurdity.

Like other games from Pacian, this one feels like the author was smiling constantly as he wrote it. I also carried that smile throughout the experience.

Gun Mute, by C.E.J. Pacian

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
The most fun you can have with a couple of verbs, May 24, 2010
by Nusco (Bologna, Italy)
Related reviews: post-holocaust, steampunk, western, shoot-em-up, experimental
Giant laser-firing robots, steampunk-ish western bad guys, radioactive mutants, badass gay cowboys with an attitude and a lot of shooting at people - this game has everything you need. You can call it an experiment on the form, because it purposefully limits itself to just a few verbs (of which "shoot" is the most important by far) and declares itself "an IF shoot-em-up". Experiment or not, this is one of the funniest short pieces of IF I've played in a while. Its unassuming attitude, approachability, shortness and blatantly linear gameplay only make this spaghetti-western-meets-mad-max-meets-doom pastiche more of a pleasure.


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