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About the StoryWhen the seventh day comes and it is time for you to return to the castle in the forest, your sisters cling to your sleeves.
Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 2006 XYZZY Awards
Alloys and Allies
Bronze is no masterpiece, but it is a well-crafted, fun, and satisfying game. I recommend it not only to people wishing to learn Inform 7 but to all fans of quality puzzle-laden text adventures.
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Bronze avoided pretty much every single problem I have ever had with interactive fiction. Designed to be accessible to new players, it's very good at letting you know what you're supposed to be doing, how you're supposed to be doing it, and giving you a sense of your progress.
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Number of Reviews: 13
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This game is intended for those of us new to interactive fiction. Puzzles have multiple solutions, multiple puzzles are open to the player at once, no time limits, hints are built-in, even the most basic I-F commands can be listed for those completely new to I-F, the writing is solid, the difficulty is on the easier side, and exploration produces a strong sense of place while maintaining the fairy tale's soft lucidness. And, commands new to the form, such as GO TO, remove a lot of the tedium of the old-school games.
I strongly recommend Bronze to those friends and family who may enjoy a textual video game, but whom would have little patience with the intentionally frustrating and pedantic I-Fs of old.
You may find that you need to draw a map, though the layout's not incredibly complicated. (You can't really get lost, thanks to the very useful "go to" syntax, which will take you back to any room you've already visited, but I found that the map helped me keep track of where I had and hadn't explored.)
The only thing I didn't like was that with at least one of the multiple endings, I felt that I'd been "cut off" from continuing, simply because of the order that I solved the final puzzles in.
I was wrong. Very wrong.
Emily Short has taken many IF tropes and made them wonderful again. The dark maze is here, with a twist (Spoiler - click to show) you can listen to find your way around , you have the abandonitus of being in this huge castle alone, and there are puzzles to solve, keys to find, areas to unlock. It may not have been in the Zork universe, but I had all the excitement I had when I first played Zork I some 20 years ago.
What's more, she makes things so EASY for you, at least as far as annoying actions. Doors are automatically unlocked if you have the key, and opened. None of those annoying "that door is closed" messages. You can "go to" a specific room, or "find" a specific item, going back to where it was. When lost in the maze, you can be reminded what direction you came FROM, and when using the GO TO command, it tells you what directions and rooms you passed getting to your location. These little things really make the game more fun, as it avoids the tedium of moving back from room to room. If only Zork I had that...
Anyway, if, like me, you were wary of the game because of the title and premise- don't be. It's a fun puzzle game with plenty of flashbacks to provide a deep and well written story.
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Recommended ListsBronze appears in the following Recommended Lists:
PollsThe following polls include votes for Bronze:
NPC-less Exploration by Dannii
Supposedly one of IFs strengths is for exploring places with few other people, often abandoned places, but I can't think of many works which have zero NPCs and consist of a lot of exploration. Usually there's at least one NPC, or the...
Games where you can't screw up by Pinstripe
Sometimes, when I'm playing a game, I spend more time juggling my save files than I do reading the text. I don't want to have to restart because I picked up the green rod instead of the clay jug (with apologies to Zarf). So I'm looking...
This is version 6 of this page, edited by Emily Short on 16 June 2011 at 8:25am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item