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Babel

by Ian Finley

Mystery/Science Fiction
1997

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(49)
4 star:
(48)
3 star:
(16)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 117
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- Janos Honkonen (Helsinki, Finland), May 16, 2014

- tekket (ČeskŠ LŪpa, Czech Republic), May 6, 2014

- Simon Deimel (Germany), February 23, 2014

- Steven Watson (UK), February 21, 2014

- grainne6, October 31, 2013

- Egas, August 4, 2013

- Aaron (Lille, France), July 27, 2013

- Jonathan Blask (Milwaukee, WI, USA), July 14, 2013

- Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.), July 9, 2013

- ButteredCatArray, July 8, 2013

- Satupeka, June 25, 2013

- Lipa (Slovenia), May 16, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 9, 2013

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Pride before a fall, April 17, 2013
by Andromache (Hawaii)
I played Babel several years ago. Enough time had passed that I didnít remember the puzzles, but I did remember I enjoyed the game and was particularly moved by the story. Iím happy to report it is still true.

There were a couple points where I considered looking up hints, but I didnít need them. Puzzles made sense and I liked how the game was very clear about why something wouldnít work. (Spoiler - click to show)The radiation puzzle was particularly ingenious, since it was understandable that the machine would be able to talk and report problems, which has the side effect of helping the player follow proper procedures. My only problem was getting the game to understand me sometimes. Wasnít so much verb guessing as phrasing issues. Sometimes, I had to split commands and let the game ask me for clarification to get what I wanted. But it didnít happen often and certainly wasnít frustrating enough to make me stop playing.

Where this game really shines is characterization. I think the characters are some of the most vivid and three-dimensional I have ever seen in the IF Iíve played. While playing, I felt as though I were watching a movie. I think there was the right blend of story and puzzles. Some games, such as those that have a lot of conversation, feel like Iím reading a book and am just there to press the right buttons and turn pages. I feel like I should just read a book. Iíd get more story at one time. Babel gave a sense of purpose interspersed with cut scenes that gradually fleshed out a dramatic and tragic tale. (Spoiler - click to show)Admittedly, the calendar felt contrived, but I can forgive that since it was useful for the overall story. All the characters had good and bad traits; everyone was culpable for what happens in the story. Itís not like you can say one person was the mastermind and everyone else just went along. Setting was well done; there was definitely a sense of isolation and a quiet, creeping horror that doesnít overdo it on the overt graphic images. I came away feeling just as I did last time - horrified but in a satisfied way. The ending felt fair, right, with just the right amount of pain to add an emotional component. Think of Anakin Skywalker and his subsequent failure, and you have Babel.

- morphy_richards, April 14, 2013

SPAG

In the realm of science fiction, very trodden ground indeed, Ian Finley's Babel does not seem profoundly original; you have an experiment in an isolated lab that goes wrong, an unscrupulous scientist, dramatic confrontations, even a countdown of sorts. But the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts, and there is more to Babel than might appear from a thumbnail sketch. The puzzles are few and not particularly remarkable, but for simple storytelling power, this one ranks among the best in the competition.
-- Duncan Stevens

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>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

Babel is not only one of the best competition games I've ever played, it's one of the best pieces of interactive fiction I've ever seen, period. The game starts from a well-worn IF trope: you awaken alone, with no memory of your identity. Then, Babel unfolds into a breathtaking, emotional story.

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- Zepton (Canada), April 6, 2013

- Tiberoo, March 26, 2013

- piehole, February 14, 2013

- Ben Treat (Maine, USA), July 20, 2012

- liz73 (Cornwall, New York), July 15, 2012

- Molly (USA), June 17, 2012

- veronica, June 4, 2012

- Rymbeld (Greensboro, NC), April 28, 2012


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