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The Wand

by Arthur DiBianca profile


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Number of Reviews: 6
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
delete the wand, get my verbs back!, October 6, 2017
by namekuseijin (anywhere but home)
Related reviews: IFComp 2017, guess-the-color
here's this game's blurb:

"Explore the wizard Bartholloco's castle with the help of a versatile magic wand. Can you overcome his challenge? Can you levitate a rock? Can you slice a baltavakia?

(Puzzle-oriented and family friendly.)"

sounds cool, huh?

no, no it is not cool. At all.

You see, there's a whole generation of players, and now authors too, that have never played text-adventures before. And yet, they try to make one - perhaps for some kind of retrogaming kink. One or another author may however surely have played one of these cool CYOA things, where you just tap/click your choices away (if any, that is, instead of just a disguise for click-next) to move the story forward.

But still they try to make ye text-adventure of ole. So, the first thing they do is to get away with verbs - it's a depressing trend really. In this game, you can only go directions, examine stuff and point a wand at things. No inventory-management (taking stuff makes the PC receive a shock).

Now that it is constrained enough that even Grunk or cyoa players can play it, it's time for real meat of the "gameplay": the wand comes with 3 colors in the shaft and by changing the color-combinations you can really make things go exciting! You have a color combo for OPENING THINGS and possibly many other useful actions!

Now isn't that ingenious and original? Instead of boring the player out of finding some key to a door or something, you make the player tinker with the colors in the wand until they find a combo that works for OPENing a door! Wow, isn't that versatile wand something? It really made it worthwhile to delete all the standard verbs and make it so mindnumbly dull to make simple things happen! It is almost as ingenious and versatile and constraining as that char-removal device in Counterfeit Monkey, right?

seriously, get a grip...

so, not interested in the gameplay, writing is kids level, setting is as generic as possible, yadda-yadda-yadda. I'll give one more star because I feel it's written in good will.

BTW, I didn't enjoy DiBianca's walking simulator last year either... my suggestion is to play some real older parser IF (because new parser IF is all fucked up) and to get back to the drawing board...

Comments on this review

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Whystler, July 13, 2018 - Reply
This is not a helpful review. Very little constructive criticism; mostly sarcasm. Oddly, the sarcastic comments are the very things I would speak with truth about this work. For example, when the reviewer said "Now isn't that ingenious and original" , you could definitely say that truthfully about this piece. And when they said "Instead of boring the player out of finding some key to a door or something, you make the player tinker with the colors in the wand until they find a combo that works for OPENing a door! " ... I am in agreement. Yes, it's an awesome feature of the game! But alas, they presented it with sarcasm, which proves that the review comes from a place of intense subjectivity and a mind closed to creativity.
Marco Innocenti, October 6, 2017 - Reply
Is all this aggressiveness necessary?

I mean: everybody has pretty well understood your dislike for anything that is not Spellbreaker. Can we move on? Or do you really believe it's fair we have to keep enduring this <rant> CYOA <rant> parser <rant> do grow up <rant> <ad lib.>?

namekuseijin, October 9, 2017 - Reply
sure. Please enjoy your constrained cyoa disguised as parser and don't pay any attention to my little rants.
Sobol, October 11, 2017 - Reply
To me it looks like criticizing a poem for being a poem and not a novel.
namekuseijin, October 11, 2017 - Reply
except of course, for some people claiming that IFComp sure got plenty of novels, when in reality they are just poems.
Sobol, October 12, 2017 - Reply
1. What "some people's claims" have to do with the quality of this particular game?

2. Claiming what exactly? That The Wand and Eat Me are parser games? They obviously are, since they use a parser. True, they aren't Infocom-style parser games. So what.

Have you seen the whole game? There's hidden content. The first part is easy, "even Grunk can play it", but after getting to the garden it's not easy anymore. There's a kind of spell grammar a la Suveh Nux, for example. And some things remind of Metamorphoses.

3. There's a whole generation of reviewers like this on the net. It is not cool. At all. Seriously, get a grip. My suggestion is to read some real reviews by Emily Short, Victor Gijsbers and Sam Kabo Ashwell and to get back to the drawing board.
namekuseijin, October 13, 2017 - Reply
LOL. I had a good laugh of a review by Sam these days. He was (seriously) reviewing a mobile dating sim and expecting it to be anything more than a shitty mobile pastime for toilet runs. LOL

ok. I'm plonking my whole "reviewer of shitty games career". too old for this shit anyway and for the whole shitty mess that has become of IF...

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