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The Promise

by Sean Huxter profile

2011

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(1)
3 star:
(5)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 9
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1-9 of 9


- E.K., January 16, 2014

- MonochromeMolly, November 8, 2011

- stadtgorilla (Munich, Germany), September 14, 2011

- Emily Boegheim, May 18, 2011

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Chore Quest, May 16, 2011
by Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle)
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2011
A children's game that sets out to teach the importance of hard work, promise-keeping and the total inflexibility of social obligations. It's painfully earnest, cheerful but oddly joyless, and it ends up badly botching the moral (in a way that leaves a lot of players drop-jawed).
Wil, nine-going-on-ten, lives in a rural village under a curse of perpetual winter. Most of the game is about doing chores for the local artisans, and at first it seems as if this will entail some rich economy-worldbuilding; but this never gets very far, and ends up feeling incomplete and inconsistent. The villagers are uniformly cheerful and pleasant, but the world feels grim and cold; the chores are mostly fetch-quests, and the game runs somewhat slowly, so navigating the large map can feel very much like trudging through ankle-deep snow doing a job that somebody else cares about.
There is potential here; there were plenty of things that caught my interest that were never fully developed, and the game's basic structure and implementation is competent (if not hugely exciting). It's appropriately easy, and (with some minor exceptions) bug-free. Its failings are mostly quite high-level intangibles: the delicate matters of pacing, engaging gameplay, tone and theme. Still, I would not recommend this to a child -- not just because of its stark and bungled ethics, but because it never really gets to the fun part of a proper child's story, the part where the child breaks the rules and gets to have an adventure. (Spoiler - click to show)At one point Wil stumbles into a supernatural realm, the Valley of Perpetual Summer, and meets a fairy girl. Almost immediately, he leaves -- he has to get on with his chores.

- Ben Cressey (Seattle, WA), May 13, 2011

- Audiart (Davis, CA), April 28, 2011

- perching path (near Philadelphia, PA, US), April 13, 2011

- Divarin, April 9, 2011


1-9 of 9 | Return to game's main page