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Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2002 XYZZY Awards
>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
So now that I've railed on the game for being unoriginal and unpolished, let me take a moment to point out something I really liked about it. Early on in the action, you acquire a sort of "sidekick" NPC, who follows you through most of the story, and who himself becomes the crux of an optional puzzle... [H]e and the PC really function as a team in several instances. I'm writing a series of games that ostensibly feature a PC/NPC team, but thus far I've copped into having the PC do most of the work while the NPC has some excuse for being out of the action. I thought The Temple was an excellent example of how to really create interdependent action between a PC and an NPC, and it got me excited about the challenge of doing so in my next game. For that alone, it repaid the time I gave to it.
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This mid-length game has a bit of a bottleneck opening, followed by a non-linear map area. It's more of an old-school feel, with some actions that are not really fair but not too bad. Two or three of the puzzles are solved by returning to an old area.
You have a recurring nightmare, and this time you can't get out. You explore an abandoned city that is a mix of R'lyeh and of the fortress in Enchanter by Infocom. Ancient writing, mystical texts, haunting memories from a half-forgotten past, violent cultists, gibbering horrors, this hits up a lot of the best parts of Lovecraft.
The NPCs are a bit weak, as you can't talk about much.
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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 18 April 2008 at 6:46pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item