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Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best NPCs - 2006 XYZZY Awards
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Moon-Shaped is a typical puzzle-based interactive fiction, save that it favors fuller prose over fuller geography. Puzzles are of moderate difficulty and clued fairly well, and a menu interface offers progressive hints. A wonderful annotated walkthrough is also available separately, though experienced players will likely not need it. The overall result is a work that favors readers over game players and thoroughness over lateral thinking.
Two things kept me from granting Moon-Shaped a full five stars. One, a compass rose and/or a GO TO command would be greatly appreciated by us beginners who disorient easily. But more importantly, I never really felt close to anyone in the work despite the time I spent with it and the spacious in absentia flashbacks. I felt that each such scene was afraid of giving away too much, and the reticency caused me to rely on my knowledge of fantasy instead of the knowledge of the particulars of the work. Consequently, I saw where the work was headed far too soon.
Regardless these idiosyncratic nitpicks, Moon-Shaped is a good work, and I especially recommend it to those who enjoyed Emily Short's Bronze.
(This review is for release 2 of Moon-Shaped.)
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This is version 5 of this page, edited by Emily Boegheim on 20 July 2008 at 3:23am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item