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Chlorophyll

by Steph Cherrywell

2015

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Number of Reviews: 3
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Like Stationfall with Sentient Plants, October 21, 2016
by Audiart (Davis, CA)
Chlorophyll is a well designed game reminiscent of Stationfall (shorter, fewer balloon animals) in which the protagonist explores an abandoned space station in an attempt to restore power (Spoiler - click to show)and save your mom. There is a "food" requirement (significantly less annoying than in Stationfall) and Floyd has been replaced by a robot plant, but the eerie-wonderful feeling of wandering through an empty building doesn't fail to deliver.

However this game's true strength lies in the subtle revelation of the intricacies of the plant folk and the amusing parallels to our own world. No expository text dumps; you learn about the world room by room in the description of items, books left lying around, and the thoughts of the protagonist. The puzzles are not difficult and are mostly vehicles for delivering details about the clever parallel world of sentient mobile plantfolk.

Where Stationfall suffered greatly from "guess-the-verb" and "find this tool to put in this slot" the puzzles in Chlorophyll are a joy to perform. They are generally easy to figure out but not lacking in the pleasure of a subtle Eureka moment. The basic premise of returning power to the station is not a series of grumbling repetitive chores, but rather a series of playful experiments, especially (Spoiler - click to show)seeing how many illegal activities you can perform.

There are a few red herrings that are simply for your own amusement, (such as (Spoiler - click to show)going to the barber shop) but the plot elements are so seamlessly and naturally resting amongst the idle amusements of the mall that you cannot right away tell which are for fun and which are for the solution. As a result, it's all fun. You are encouraged to play with everything, explore, and basically, be a kid wandering through an abandoned mall.

Chlorophyll is just the right length, not long enough to draw a map (like Stationfall) but long enough to satisfy. Very well written with a great background story, and a likable protagonist, with intuitive, easy yet satisfying puzzles reminiscent of Infocom (without all the diabolical stuff.) Lots of fun, good for a beginner or someone who wants to recall the Infocom style without spending a week on a game.

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<blank>, October 22, 2016 - Reply
Great review of a great game. A quick note, though - I don't remember the red herring you spoiler-tagged being a red herring at all. Didn't it help you get demerits?
Audiart, November 3, 2016 - Reply
If that's the case, then it went over my head! I thought it was just for fun and atmosphere. Thanks for pointing that out.
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