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For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
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For release 3
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Feature index of the source text for version 3

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Sparkle

by Juhana Leinonen (as Karly Di Caprio) profile

Fantasy
2014

Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

My search for the Pattern has brought me to Mount Shanshan. Now it's just a matter of a short cable car ride up to the top.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Current Version: 3
License: MIT
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: 617F658A-FC32-4F8C-AF3F-CBF5592EF6EA
TUID: 3nh7jdb0jvkrv1j2

Awards

Commended - ShuffleComp 2014

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Member Reviews

5 star:
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4 star:
(3)
3 star:
(2)
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Replayable, intuitive, quite short, February 24, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)
Sparkle is very replayable and small enough that the constant walking back and forth is not too tedious. The gameplay revolves around transforming objects, which is taken to the depth expected for so short a game, but really leaves me wanting more. A list of "achievements" keeps you coming back to try new ways to approach the puzzles.

The puzzles are difficult enough to produce a satisfying "eureka" feeling upon solving them, and I believe true failure is impossible. There are not a lot of suggestions in the game to lead you towards the solutions, but fortunately the answers are very intuitive and quite down-to-earth for a puzzle with a fantasy theme at its core.

Sparkle reminded me in some ways of classic Emily Short puzzles - albeit in a much condensed form. I would very much like to see the transformation mechanic and spiritual theme turned into a larger game with more emotional depth.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Entertaining, with a unique mechanic and optional puzzles, November 17, 2016
by Tracy Poff (Hamlin, West Virginia, United States)
Related reviews: Shufflecomp 2014
Compared to Nova Heart, the last game I played, Sparkle is a much more traditional piece of interactive fiction. Not merely because it's parser-based and written in Inform--it has very much the traditional feel of interactive fiction. The introduction ends with "The road ends here at an abandoned cable car platform. The cableway leads directly to my destination. I must get it running, somehow.", and inspecting the cable car reveals that it is locked to the platform with an iron bar, which is attached to the platform with bolts. I will need a wrench!

With this as motivation, I explored the surroundings, coming to a gate guarded by a dog. Then the game instructed me to "Find a quiet place to MEDITATE." I'd just seen such a place, so I did as instructed, and the game revealed a piece of information--"dog equals flute"--and a new mechanic: "With this information I can CHANGE things INTO their counterpart identities. I can also THINK to recall previously learned information."

I was fairly excited by the possibilities, at this point, but I'm afraid that Sparkle didn't quite live up to my expectations. The rest of the game involves solving some pretty standard puzzles with the aid of the new mechanic. That's all pretty solid, but the only way to learn which objects can be changed into which others is to inspect some objects, and then meditate. Some of the objects you've examined may work with the new command. Or maybe not.

My biggest disappointment with this game is that the changing-things-into-things mechanic (Spoiler - click to show)turns out not to actually be a puzzle. The game tells you, of this mechanic, that "the key to true enlightenment is to observe the Pattern and to understand it," but that's a red herring. The pattern is that there is no pattern--according to the game, anything can be changed into anything. That's not actually true, though: objects can only actually be turned into the counterparts the game specifies, and only after the game tells you that you can, too--nothing clever happens on repeated playthroughs.

Despite my disappointment with the game's unique mechanic, Sparkle does have a few things to recommend it. There are a number of optional puzzles, listed by the game as achievements. I didn't get all of them, but they seem to be well-integrated into the game. For example, during one event, you're told that your clothes get wet, and later you discover an umbrella--the obvious thing is to (on a subsequent playthrough) get the umbrella first, and protect your clothes. And, indeed, this yields an achievement--nice. The achievement system does seem to be a little buggy, though--I got some achievements that I didn't actually complete, and I think it didn't always notify me when I got one.

Also, Sparkle is written in first person, but can optionally be put into second person, which is a neat gimmick.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this game. If it gets a post-comp release fixing the trouble with the achievements system, I might like to go back and try to complete some of the optional puzzles.

Play time: about 45 minutes.

If you enjoyed Sparkle...

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 3 June 2015 at 6:11pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item