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About the StoryUtopia Technologies. Industrial giant, economic powerhouse, the world's greatest scientific superpower, and the organisation most responsible for eroding civil liberties and personal freedoms. They're an all-powerful capitalist megacorporation that you despise completely and utterly, yet you're perfectly willing to join their ranks.
The paperwork has been filed, and you're on the way to the California Archipelago in a transport shuttle. There's no turning back now. Tomorrow morning, you'll be a citizen of Utopia, based in the Arcology -- that overcrowded, polluting eyesore of gargantuan proportions. You'll be a mere immigrant worker at the bottom of the corporate ladder, but your stomach still churns at the thought. Your motives for going may be pure, but that doesn't make it easy.
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The plot and setting of Inside Woman are hardly original. The story takes place 150 years into the future, where global warming, biological warfare and globalisation have all left their mark. The protagonist is an Asian superspy, sent into the capital of another corporate state which is bent on becoming a total monopoly, in a quest to discover their plans. The game begins on a transport craft about to dock at this city, a giant pyramid, and Lo and Behold - puzzles ensue.
So, not a groundbreaking scenario. But playing the game is a real treat as the theme works so well. The writing is often just a bare description but comes across as fleshed out and vivid. And of course the player expectation for a game where the character is a hot female superspy is that it should be fun, and I felt that the author succeeded in this as well. A memorable highlight is when the you are required to win a virtual reality arcade game where you are... a hot female superspy (on a bike!). You will find yourself trying every over-the-top action movie cliché to score the maximum points. It was firmly tongue in cheek, and very entertaining.
As I mentioned earlier the puzzles are not quite as hard as some of the previous games Andy has released, but there are still plenty of times where you will be really challenged. There are a lot more hints around for you to find, many of which are implemented through the player's sidekick, which has made the game more approachable. I managed to get over two thirds through the game with just a couple of hints from other people, before getting totally stuck on one particular puzzle. Fortunately there is a hints file available now, which is how I got past this stage. There are several instances where syntax or the correct verb are important, but at least they are rare.
For anyone new to puzzle-based IF, the key things to remember are - examine and search everything (sometimes more than once, as they might change with no notification), read the descriptions and conversation carefully for subtle clues and think outside the box. With this in mind, if you are up for a challenge you will really enjoy this game.
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This is version 1 of this page, edited by Emily Short on 9 May 2009 at 1:22am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item