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Cryptozookeeper

by Robb Sherwin profile

Episode 3 of New Haz
Science Fiction
2011

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Number of Reviews: 3
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent Game of Weirdness, June 16, 2011
by Jizaboz (U.S.A.)
I wasn't sure what to expect when trying this game. I hadn't played any of the author's previous works.

The first thing that appealed to me in the game was the general feel and atmosphere of it. The graphics certainly were a great addition towards this effect. At first though, I felt as if some of the more upbeat songs included in the game's soundtrack felt out of place in the first few rooms. However, this wasn't an issue for me as the game progressed more and I heard all of the songs multiple times. I found myself humming a few of the tunes to myself at work the next day.

A big plus to the game is the NPCs, which are all done very well. My only complaint with the conversation system is that I kept trying to "Talk to Grimloft about X" out of habit. Basically, I kept attempting to skip a step when talking. The characters are all fleshed out very well with their backgrounds and personalities.

The difficulty of the game was varied to me. For the most part, I just seemed to float through the story, while enjoying the amusing exchanges between the NPCs. Some of it was truly hilarious to me. Then, I would hit a snag and would spend roughly twenty minutes trying to figure out what to do next, but it rarely came down to a "guess the right word" issue. At one point I became very stuck, and still could not figure it out when coming back to it the next day. I ended up sending a message to the author asking if perhaps I had found a bug or I just didn't get the puzzle. While it ended up being the latter, as I had tried to use a different verb with the right noun, he mentioned that he would add the verb I tried to the next version.

The system of creating and fighting creatures is pretty addictive. I found myself trying all sorts of combinations. (Spoiler - click to show)My only regret with the way I had played the game was that I had not built up my cryptids a bit more for the final showdown. I just barely won, and an all-out annihilation would have been most satisfying.

Overall, a great game and I would recommend it to just about anyone, especially those new to interactive fiction. You can tell the author put a lot of heart and time into it. I'd be very interested in seeing more of his behind-the-scenes stuff. This game easily made my personal list of favorites.

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Sam Kabo Ashwell, June 17, 2011 - Reply
(Spoiler - click to show)My only regret with the way I had played the game was that I had not built up my cryptids a bit more for the final showdown. I just barely won, and an all-out annihilation would have been most satisfying.

This is interesting -- on my first playthrough I spent a lot of time levelling monsters up, and worried that I hadn't done enough, but then won without even fielding a L3 monster -- I think the final blow was landed by a L2 Behinder. And in the second playthrough Ukilicoz was defeated by a L1 triceratops. (Though that took about a hundred rounds of combat.) I suspected, though I haven't tested this, that it's possible to win with cryptids totally fresh from the vat if you just have enough of them, particularly the ones that start out quite strong.

I suppose the trick is that the game doesn't spend much time signalling what an appropriate level of training/cryptid-creation might be?
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