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About the StoryThis is an IF game from 1985, based on the 1980 Stephen King novella of the same name (later to be adapted into a 2007 feature film). You are trapped in grocery store in rural Maine, as a mysterious mist comes to enshroud the town. Lurking in the mist are hideous beasts seemingly from another world. How are you to survive, in the midst of this radically altered world? And how far does the mist extend?
This game was originally released in both Apple II and DOS formats.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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The writing is over-the-top, cartoonish horror as you might have already expected given the source. A tentacled mist is sucking people out of a store. Ooh, scary! Important words are IN ALL CAPS, and of course you have stabs at Christianity. Yes, there's a crazy old lady and her mindless followers looking for blood. Wow, how original!
The parser's responses are cloying. Typing things it doesn't understand either produces pats on the head, displays a thought from the PC, or speeches from any NPCs around. The effect is disconcerting, as you're not sure if what you see is a response to your actions or the game ignoring your actions. In addition, each turn spits out an annoying set of dashes, as though you wouldn't be able to tell the response from your command without help. Worse, the parser requires you to confirm your responses to opening doors. These responses don't indicate that something awful is going to happen, oh no. They're just there to pat you on the head, yet again.
The NPCs exist just to move from place to place like unchanging pieces on a chessboard. Talking to them rarely produces useful information, and they don't respond to changes in their environment. (Spoiler - click to show)To see what I mean, go into the meat locker and wait for an NPC to show up.
While the parser isn't at all bad, especially given the era of the game, the plot more than makes up for it. You're required to do things that just don't make sense to advance the plot. (Spoiler - click to show)If I just saw a guy get sucked into the mist, what's the most logical thing to do? Follow him? Of course not, but that's what you have to do to get out of the supermarket. And random death awaits you wherever you go. I guess the idea is not to stay in one place too long, or to bother talking to anyone, because if you do, it's game over. Even that technique -- keeping the player on the run -- could have worked, had you a chance to escape once a bug shows up. But you don't, and the concept of being killed by dragonflies, bees, and two-feet-long bugs isn't horrific, just silly. That aside, you'll also need to map (could this game get any more annoying?) but not just because the game is large -- because it's filled with tons of empty rooms. But that's what The Mist is about, apparently: nonsensical actions, empty rooms, and silly deaths.
Finally, saving the game, at least using DOSBox, is not possible. Perhaps you need a better emulator or a DOS machine.
All things considered, The Mist is stunningly awful. It's worth noting that no-one is willing to claim authorship for this game. That makes sense, though. I suppose if I had cobbled together something this poor, I wouldn't want to affix my name (or even a pseudonym) to it either.
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