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Reviews by George Shannon

IF Comp 2005

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Escape to New York, by Richard Otter

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Enjoyable, if plain, September 26, 2008
by George Shannon (Pittsburgh)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2005
I've had a hard time enjoying Adrift games, either because the parser seems trained for a particular kind of game, or there simply isn't enough weight to the story-bits to create any interest. I realize it's unreasonable prejudice, but I just get a sense of laziness when playing Adrift games.

Escape to New York, fortunately, avoids a lot of those problems. There's a lot of detail, and only a few times did I stumble on unique verbage. It comes with a straightforward map (which can even be displayed in the interpreter!), and its walkthrough does not cause a furrowed forehead, just a few moments of "OH, of course." (I do tend to use walkthroughs a lot.) For what it is, it's fun to play.

I do think that more showing, rather than telling, would help the game itself. There's a lot of stylish details in the room descriptions, but it's as if it's a cataloging, rather than vivid descriptions intended to draw me in (at times, similar problems with '1893'). You can also accomplish some thieving during the game, which is fun, but comes off a little too straightforward at times, it's just a matter of finding things. Most of these problems aren't annoying, really, they're just moments where some good hooks should have been placed. If the author writes another game, I'd love to try it out. And I won't even mind if it's in Adrift.

(Edit: I should note I'm playing through old competitions, and just noted the author does have other games in later compeitions. Looking forward to it!)


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