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An imaginative psychodrama of self-confrontation and moral dilemma, by way of Haiti, Sherwood Forest, and an American Civil War battlefield. One of the most intriguing storylines I've seen in any game. You wander the city streets, or possibly the castle grounds, with a sense of temporal dislocation and confused memories of vampires, until a friendly fortune-teller helps you put your head back together through a series of visions about your past and what it means to you. Written by seven strangers, the game is divided into self-contained segments of highly variable style, subject matter, and quality. This is at once the game's greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Just about everything you hate in games can be found here - mazes, time limits, obscure "guess-the-word" puzzles - but the flawed parts fit into the frame-tale so well, the effect is dazzling. Given a better parser and the removal of some of the more annoying puzzles, this one would easily rate five stars.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
[...] a somewhat political, occasionally difficult, *extremely* well-written game which deals with the past, present, and future of Haiti. Beyond that I can say no more without spoiling the excellent plot, but take my word for it -- Shades of Grey is a game not to be missed. (Molley the Mage)
The use of seven authors leads to a rather segmented design, but linearity serves the story well. The individual episodes vary in style and quality (both in the writing and the overall design), yet somehow this creates the effect of many pieces coming together. And the whole of "Shades of Grey" is far, far more than the sum of the parts. (Christopher E. Forman)
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There is a lot of hokum about you needing to rediscover your memory of things past, but I didn't feel it was worth the effort of trying to follow this plot. The American fascination with the Robin Hood legend rears its head once (or twice) again, and I sometimes wish that they would pick on another character or era from English History.
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A large and powerful game in an old, rusty parser system, June 5, 2017
The real story of the game isn't even actually apparent until almost the end. The middle parts have quite a variety, from Robin Hood to an urban setting to McCarthyism to vampires.
The game took me over 1200 moves to finish. There are 1001 points you can obtain.
The AGT parser is old and bad. I'd rather even have a Scott Adams parser, because those games have a true simplicity; but in this game KNOCK DOOR and KNOCK ON DOOR give different responses, with only one working; TIE ROPE and TIE ROPE TO TREE give different responses, one working and one giving you a generic message. And so on... I only discovered later that you can type LIST EXITS, which would have been very useful.
The ending has a moral choice that many have described as seeming ambiguous, but with only one leading to a successful ending.
One of the best games available pre-Curses!
If you enjoyed Shades of Gray...
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