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Book and Volume

by Nick Montfort

Science Fiction
2005

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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 4
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Nondescript plot but vivid setting, December 26, 2012
by Andromache (Hawaii)
I dithered about trying this based on the reviews already here, but it's really not as difficult as some say. Yes, I had to restart a few times. Maybe the parser was a little annoying at times if you didn't break up actions sufficiently. Sure, some tasks are timed. But these things turned out to not be frustrating enough to quit playing. I made it to the end once already, and am in the course of playing again to try to solve one puzzle I'm stuck on.

The thing is, the timing is not really cruel. You have more than adequate time to get the job done. Should the game end prematurely, you learn over the course of playing what things will be required in the future and can plan better. Easy enough to save after completing each task as well. And I found the puzzles to be plausible and pretty consistent. (Spoiler - click to show)I got a Jedi mind trick reference. That had me laughing aloud, since I love Star Wars.

Many of the places are there just for realism and you don't really have to do anything with them. I liked the atmosphere they added to the setting.

So why not give this a higher rating? Well, the prose was not always to my taste. The timed nature of the game marred the fun of examining and exploring. Looking at things yielded bland descriptions, sometimes the same as the room description. Some actions you think you should do based on game happenings actually are dead ends. And perhaps worst of all, I just don't care much about the player character or his predicament. Perhaps you're not meant to. The sterile feel of the environment invokes memories of books like 1984 or The Giver, which is creepy in a psychological way.

The game is gentle enough not to anger me, and many of my objections are just aesthetic and subjective, but still enough to make a short diversion a bit tedious to have to repeat more than a few times.