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About the StoryYou play as a young villager who is attempting warn the king about an imminent attack at nightfall. The castle guards, not believing your tale, have imprisoned you in the castle's wine cellar. You must escape and get to the king!
13th Place - 9th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2003)
This is a fairly standard and fairly short old-school type game set in a castle with dining halls, secret passages, a bearded old wizard, and a king who's in trouble. That sort of thing. You start out in a locked room, and figuring out how to get out of there was, to me, the most troublesome puzzle of the game. I went to the hints fairly quickly, and all they did was suggest that something else was hidden in the room with me. Given the extremely limited set of things to interact with, I eventually found it, but it was a total read-the-author's-mind type of situation.
-- J. Robinson Wheeler
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>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
It's all about the testing. Get at least three testers for your game, with a sufficient variety of approaches between them. Then, watch for the things they try. If they get close to the answer, your game should provide some appropriately encouraging feedback. This is especially important in a game like Sardoria, where many of the puzzles are one kind of combination lock or another, most of whose combinations verge on the totally arbitrary. This is a subject that deserves a more detailed treatment, but I'm unable to do that in a spoiler-free review, so all I can say is that designers must anticipate the majority of player responses and handle them appropriately. It's a lot of work, yeah, but it can be the difference between exciting and exasperating for puzzly IF.
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Enjoyable Fantasy Romp, January 22, 2016
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