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10th Place - 10th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2004)
>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
The game itself is quite solid, too -- it's clear that a whole lot of effort went into this project. Aside from the few bugs I mentioned [earlier], I found the code pleasantly error-free, and the same goes for the writing. The puzzles worked well for me, and the game did an excellent job of providing cues to help me know what I ought to try next. One item in particular was not only quite well-implemented, but also provided an excellent emotional through-line for the story. Trading Punches still has a few details to clean up... but I'd recommend it without hesitation, especially to fans of dramatic fantasy games like Worlds Apart.
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Retrospective episodes are sometimes quite distant in time, but weaved skillfully (with brilliant use of a trinket) into a cohesive story, developing the protagonist (and another character) in much detail. Puzzles also feel natural, not really puzzles at all, just something you do; only at one point I had no idea what to do next (and it turned out to be quite obvious, had I thought as the character would at that point, and not as a player sifting game text for clues does).
A "hard sci fi" game about two alien cultures, culture and family, February 3, 2016
The game is about two brothers who witness a new civilization come in contact with their own, the Incenders, a race of humanoid fiery beings. Over time, the brothers deal with a variety of forms of conflict.
The puzzles are a bit odd; the first big puzzle is serving drinks to a large group of people, and this can be tedious. It gets more exciting with dangerous exploration puzzles in parts 2 and 3.
A lot of world building has gone on here, similar to that on Worlds Apart, but on a smaller scale.
Recommended for fans of "hard sci-fi".
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