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Glowgrass

by Nate Cull

Science Fiction
1997

(based on 62 ratings)
4 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 1
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 247
IFID: TADS2-0009C6BD11F41112184F6ABF6D179F4E
TUID: b1xy3s75cjlty973

Awards

Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Story - 1997 XYZZY Awards

3rd Place - 3rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1997)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


A xenohistorical expedition to recover artifacts of "the Ancients" takes on a surprisingly human and personal tone in this far-future sci-fi story. Simple Planetfall-like puzzles, thoughtful prose that establishes moods with parsimony. Short but not rushed. Well worth playing.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

IF-Review
A Brief Flash
The story packs a huge punch for such a small game, covering as it does themes of hope for humanity and for the individual. (Jonathan Rosebaugh)
See the full review

SPAG

Post-apocalyptic IF? There hasn't been any, in my memory -- A Mind Forever Voyaging is the only thing that comes close -- but there's no reason why there couldn't be, and Nate Cull's Glowgrass, small but well-conceived, is certainly an interesting attempt. Though the game itself has some flaws, the story is intriguing enough to make it enjoyable. (Duncan Stevens)
See the full review

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

Glowgrass is a well-written game with a pleasantly creepy aura, a pleasurable way to spend a couple of hours and hopefully a prelude to more quality work.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(12)
4 star:
(27)
3 star:
(20)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Clunky mechanics but engaging game, June 6, 2013
by Andromache (Hawaii)
This was an easy game with an engaging premise, exploring an Ancient ruin. Indeed, there are no real puzzles in the game except maybe at the very beginning to get into the compound. There's a touch of horror to the story, but I wouldn't consider it disgusting. More...unnatural. Not enough to be severely unsettling, though.

There are some parsing hiccups along the way, but I found they were mostly surrounding one particular game item, (Spoiler - click to show)the cable. However, the parser does helpfully provide the correct verb if you try to take the object but can't manipulate it. (Spoiler - click to show)"Attach" and "connect," plus related antonyms, should have been implemented, but the problem can also be solved by referring to specific sockets you want to put the cable in. The real trouble with the gameplay is more about having to perform actions one by one. Like, you can't just head in the direction of a door. You have to perform each step individually, which is rather annoying after getting used to more modern games.

Jerkiness aside, the game was still easy enough to get through with no hints and my only major complaint is really that the story is kind of unresolved. I'm a bit confused about the ending. The author says material had to be cut out to make the game fit the parameters of the competition, and perhaps the story resolution was that material, but I'd be interested in seeing an epilogue.

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Nice setting, August 25, 2009
The best thing about Glowgrass is the setting. It's an interesting premise, though sparsely implemented, that does a pretty good job of drawing you in.

The environment is pretty small, and the puzzles for the most part are quite simple - though as another reviewer mentioned, there are some flaws in the implementation. For example, if you throw x at y, you are told that you can't reach y with just your hands! (Spoiler - click to show)The really irritating part is that you ARE supposed to throw x at y... but if you specify the target, you're screwed.

The conversational mechanic is also a little unintuitive - if you're having trouble, just realize there's an ABOUT keyword, and it's crucial.

If you don't get caught on the rough edges in the mechanics, Glowgrass will probably only take you 15 or 30 minutes to finish, if that. It's worth playing.

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
A Dispiriting Future / A Frustrating Present, April 25, 2010
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)
Glowgrass presents a future that is shrived of emotion and a time where natural resources are nearly depleted. This perspective is unavoidable, due to every room and every object being described in the same mathematical manner with salient environmental preachments. This approach made the game not very enjoyable, but I was able to muddle through until the bugs and the under-implementation hit.

Trying to (Spoiler - click to show)plug things in or connect them is a well-known problem with this game (see prior reviews). If you use the word "connect" by itself, you'll get a loverly TADS error. And if you type "HINTS", guess what? There aren't any! However, the ABOUT tells you that this game is not a puzzle-fest, but a story. That's cold comfort when you're left wondering what to do with the objects that you can't fit together in any way.

There are a few interesting moments that I was able to discover, but they don't make up for the dispiriting and frustrating whole.

See All 4 Member Reviews

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Recommended Lists

Glowgrass appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Games for beginners by Eric Eve
Many of the games in this list are ones I enjoyed as a beginner, but the main aim of this list is to suggest games that are reasonably short and not too hard (so that enjoyment should generally exceed frustration!), and which should...

Memorable Settings by Emily Boegheim
Games with memorable settings or landscapes - not necessarily deeply implemented, but vividly described or intriguing in concept.

Beginner's choice. by Grey
If for first time or beginner players.

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Glowgrass:

Apocalypse How by katz
Post-apocalyptic games: equal parts cliche and fun. Authors are free to dispense with pesky NPCs, complicated modern technology, and implementing working everyday items. Players can have no inhibitions about acting like murderous...

Games for Beginners by WriterBob
I'm looking for games that are suited for adults who are new to IF. My purpose is to share these games with friends and let them get experience IF without being frustrated by mazes or guess-the-verb issues. Please avoid children's games....

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...

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 10 February 2013 at 10:13am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item