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The Cabal

by Stephen Bond profile


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Number of Reviews: 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Went over my head, December 25, 2012
by Andromache (Hawaii)
There were times during Cabal that I laughed aloud, and the irony of the player character investigating conspiracy theories while being the very thing he was hunting was not lost on me. I appreciated that I was able to enjoy the narrative and not get bogged down by puzzles. Honestly, I wouldn't even call them puzzles. They have the veneer of puzzles, but solutions are clear and obvious if you pay attention to the writing and you're basically told what to do. (Spoiler - click to show)The twisty maze was familiar and evoked prior memories of torment. It was fitting it was part of the new Archive somehow. And the elevator puzzle, the only true one, was actually pretty intuitive after a few rounds of getting slapped. Heh. The ending didn't surprise me much. (Spoiler - click to show)You're clued early on that the player character is a bit strange, maybe not all there. The narrative is well done, and despite personally not liking the PC much, the story was short enough and the game easy enough that I was able to finish it with little effort. Parsing was excellent. No errors about not understanding what I wanted, even if the game is conversation-based for the most part. I even got the game and author references, though not the politics. Being someone who favors modern IF and IF as art form and narrative, I had a hard time getting into the mindset of the player character.

I would not replay this game. It was well-implemented, characters were stock and more plot device, but while I am enough of an IF gamer that I understood what was meant by story-based versus puzzle-based, I am not enough of an insider to appreciate the inspiration for this game and what it's poking fun at. The tie-ins with real-world conspiracy organizations helped to understand the story, but if there are any Freemasons, etc, they probably shouldn't play this. I know of RAIF, RGIF, etc, but I think this game appeals only to a small group of IF authors/players. Perhaps I could have rated the game higher if I were part of the "Cabal." :)

Comments on this review

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Molly, December 29, 2012 - Reply
I had heard of this before, but your review convinced me to check it out. It was actually pretty funny! So thanks for that. It seems to have caused one other person to revise their opinion as well.
Andromache, December 30, 2012 - Reply
Ooh, a revised review? I'll have to look for it. And I'm flattered that my review nudged you to try the game. Not much time investment to play and I think the environments were awesome.
Molly, December 30, 2012 - Reply
Well, not so much a revised review as a revised rating. The IFDB treats them similarly.
Andromache, December 30, 2012 - Reply
Ah. I assume you mean Sam's rating. What was it before? I don't generally look at who gave what rating, so had to do some searching to find the page. :)
Molly, December 31, 2012 - Reply
I think it was two stars. It was definitely less than three.
Andromache, December 31, 2012 - Reply
Ouch. He thought it was that bad? I know the target audience for that game was small, but the game was put together competently and the writing was functional and polished. Definitely don't think it was a two. But I try to find things to salvage a game and for me to rate a two, I would have had to have encountered significant and frustrating setbacks like timed or ridiculous puzzles or a player character that was just awful to inhabit.

Good to know my review actually helped the game. Haha. Even if it was only an average score to me.
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