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Bronze

by Emily Short profile

Part of fractured fairy tales
Fantasy
2006

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5 star:
(81)
4 star:
(78)
3 star:
(22)
2 star:
(2)
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(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 19
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Perfect Introduction To IF, March 18, 2017
In my opinion, this game is perfect. Based on my limited experience with IF, I'd say this game definitely succeeds at introducing beginners to the "traditional" exploration and puzzle IF genre.

The map is sizable enough to keep the player curious but not so expansive as to overwhelm. The teleportation-style navigation feature keeps the beginner from getting bored with the "legwork" of bringing items to and fro to complete tasks and the "think about" hint feature doesn't let the player stay lost long enough to give up.

Having only played the game through once (so far) I don't have experience with the multiple possible endings, but after finishing the game I did skim the "making of" page on the author's site (which is full of spoilers), and I gained an increased respect for the amount of thought that went into the complete and polished game that I played.

I recommend this game especially to beginners, but if you're a veteran player of IF and you haven't played this game yet, give it a try.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A great story for beginners, February 5, 2017
Bronze is a great starting place for those getting into IF. It has a generous hint system and puzzles that are just the right difficulty (for me, anyway!). Though it has some parallels to Beauty and the Beast, it is it's own story and not romantic, if that's a concern. I would recommend printing a map or drawing a map to keep track of all of the locations. I didn't visit all of the possible rooms (the ones unlabeled on the PDF map), so I assume there is an alternate, perhaps more favorable, path. Next, I plan on having my middle school students work through this story as an intro to IF!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting interpretation of beauty and the beast, February 18, 2016
by Solana (Hong Kong)
Bronze is my first IF game and I think as a complete newbie to IF Bronze is really easy to handle and provides really good instructions/hints to guide me throughout the game. I really like the spooky environment and as the game go on the creepiness got yet not too much to scare me off.

I did not have a high expectation of the game however and I don't think it's that much of a surprise either, maybe because there's too many remakes of Beauty and the Beast already that it's pretty much guessable of what will happen.

Another thing I don't really fancy is the number of rooms it has. There's just way too many rooms and while it's useful in the sense to allow me to get the feel of the game and how to move around, there are many rooms that are just not needed and the huge amount of rooms confuses me a lot especially in the end when I want to get back to a specific room which its name is too complicated to remember and I must search through a big paragraph of rooms I've went through in order to find the name of that specific annoying room. I do think adding a few rooms without big purpose is fine as that's what tends to happen in the real world as well and adds to the challenge, but this is just way, way, way too much useless rooms.

The names are also very confusing.

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A mid-length retelling of Beauty and the Beast with musical magic, February 3, 2016
This mid-length game is a story-focused Zorkian type game, where you explore the Beast's castle, trying to understand his history and take action.

The game features a magical system focused on (Spoiler - click to show)bells. Different bells have different properties, which you must decipher by experimentation and by searching records.

The game is a more cynical version of the fairy tale (or more world-weary). Fans of Short's other works will recognize the common elements of a strong, independent female protagonist interacting with a man of grey morality in an ambiguous leader/lover role (such as in Galatea, Metamorphoses, Counterfeit Monkey).

This game is intended to be accesible to beginners, with a tutorial mode and ways to access hints. I found the game frustrating when I tried to treat it as an open, nonlinear game. When I did what the game told me to do, it was much more enjoyable.

Nearly perfect introduction to IF for brand-new beginners, November 19, 2015
This was one of the first IF games I ever played, and after playing several others I was impressed with the implementation of the hint system in this delightful game. I say it was 'nearly perfect' because I feel it was a little too hard for me in the second half even with the generated hints (which occasionally didn't actually make sense to the problem at hand) and I had to resort to the walkthrough that the author posted. Thanks for posting a walkthrough! I loved the writing and I was happy to hear the end of the story even if I ultimately had to admit defeat to the puzzles.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Finely crafted recounting of a well-known fairytale, January 19, 2015
You are Beauty in this retelling of the classic story. Something is amiss in the Beast's castle when you return after an absence, and your actions on exploring the castle (and discovering it as player of course) lead to a potential resolution of the Beast's condition.

The game is extremely well crafted. The writing is relatively sparse yet evocative. The puzzles are clearly set up, with logical and mostly satisfying solutions. While some solutions seemed more straightforward than others, in all cases they were "fair": none of the elements necessary for the answer were hidden. The "goto" command was convenient (although the punctuation did occasionally seem to go awry when moving through the castle) and the "think about" hint system was intellectually pleasing, tapping in to the narrator's thoughts to become hints.

In the end, however, I have to agree with other reviewers that I felt somewhat let down by the final resolution of the story. The mechanics of the retelling of the story are cleverly thought out and satisfying (Spoiler - click to show)(summoning via bells, contracts), but my investment in the outcome was not repaid by its emotional impact. This is of course a personal reaction. I found the ending of the author's Mask of Pytho much more satisfying - maybe I'm an incurable romantic although that's not how I normally think I approach IF.

Access to the source code is a nice touch. The author clearly likes bells and I enjoyed her work here. Recommended.

Wonderful game, January 7, 2013
An extremely dark take on the traditional story. Loved the atmosphere created and it is one of the few games where I haven't wanted to skip over parts of the writing. Well done! You had me hooked!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A more mature fairy tale, December 23, 2012
by Andromache (Hawaii)
I'm revisiting this game after a hiatus from interactive fiction and it is still a good story. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, so when I saw this was inspired by it, I had to play it. The first screen drew me in and gave me a clue right away that this heroine, while just as determined and sensible as the Beauty of the fairy tale, was not necessarily pining for her family or even that devoted to them. Much like Metamorphoses, there are multiple endings which allow for roleplay of the protagonist in some very unconventional ways.

As the story unfolds, one begins to see that none of the characters are true to the source material, but they do retain their roles. That is, what they do is the same; their personalities are not. It's a study in contradiction, where there's a jaded, flawed, and yet somehow likeable Beast and a Beauty that's caring but also a tad vengeful. This newest version of the game sees more polish to the vignettes of their backstories, with some downright hilarious lines and touching moments. (Spoiler - click to show)Like how the Beast says not all the women who died before they were married were his victims. Quite amusing in context. And when Beauty and Beast meet again after their week apart and you can tell the Beast is truly moved and honestly hadn't expected to ever see her again. Or his thoughts about Beauty later in the game, and her own affection for him.

In terms of mechanics, the travel system is awesome. I wish all games had it. Puzzles were well-clued and felt natural. The room counter in the status line was handy. And the system of magic and servitude was explained clearly and worked for me.

What I like about both Bronze and Metamorphoses is the obvious attention to detail in world-building, characterization, and background. I get the sense that these characters are real to the author and while there's a nagging sense of only scratching the surface, what players do see still manages to have a strong impact emotionally. These people have distinct voices in the narrative and because no one is purely good or evil, there's a satisfying depth to them not found in the conventional fairy tale.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
In the best traditions of the adventure game genre., November 30, 2012
The story of Bronze is a twist on the well-known fairy tale of Beauty & the Beast. You are "Beauty" and have returned to the castle. But all is not well.
There's a castle of 54 rooms to explore, and by examining rooms, objects and consulting books you slowly piece together the story of what's happened to the Beast, and figure out what to do about it.
It really captured the feeling of exploration which makes the genre so great. Ms.Short's writing is really top notch, and the puzzles are logical and well-thought out.

Bronze is especially recommended for beginners: a special GO TO command let's you instantly walk to any room you've been before, there's a novice mode, and the built-in hint system is very helpful: it reminds you what your goal is and what items are of interest at the moment. You can THINK ABOUT an item to get a clue about what you can do with it, however, if there's something else you need to do first it doesn't give you the clue (yet). A lot better than a blunt walkthrough.

About the only negative thing I can say about it is that it did crash a lot while using Windows Frotz 1.07. I recommend using Gargoyle to play it.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Amazing, touching game, April 23, 2012
This is my first Emily Short game, but most certainly not my last. Having grown up with zork and the like, I had a certain point of view about IF -- fun, challenging, occaisionally witty. Emily definitely widened my horizons by delivering an IF game where the author cared as much about the 'Fiction' as she did about the 'Interactive.' Extremely well written story unfolds as you progress thru the game, making your quest meaningful and personal. In game hints have the perfect amount of reveal, without spoiling it all. Not only an easily mappable world, but once you've been somewhere, you can get back with one command. Also works for finding objects you have already seen. This completely bypasses the crazy, time-consuming travel back and forth between rooms, allowing the quest and the story to take precedence. I highly, HIGHLY recommend.


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