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Reviews by calindreams

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1-4 of 4

9:05, by Adam Cadre

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A good introduction, April 13, 2018
by calindreams (Birmingham, England)
This game has been one of the first pieces of interactive I have actually got to the end of. Short and enjoyable and I'm sure most people would appreciate it more on a replay.

Maybe I would have given an extra star to my rating if I hadn't figured out the twist on the first play through. My experience of the story maybe would have been improved if (Spoiler - click to show) I hadn't been quite so thorough in my initial exploration of the appartment or that the author could have made it a little more difficult to find the key element of the story>.

Otherwise I would definitely recommend this game to people.

Hunter, in Darkness, by Andrew Plotkin

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Play this game., September 9, 2011
by calindreams (Birmingham, England)
I've been pot-holing and had a horrendous time. Thankyou Andrew Plotkin for helping relive my nightmare from the safety of my own home.

And he really does describe the claustrophobic surroundings masterfully. It is essentially a cave-crawl, but this time the cave is a cave you really could imagine. It seems like either he's done his research or has had first-hand experience of caving.

There are no compass directions. The player navigates by 'going forward', 'entering left tunnel', etc... I thought I wouldn't like this aspect of the game but it is implemented very well and suits the scenario perfectly, lending the atmosphere a sense of disorientation.

I enjoy puzzles in my games, but I'm often impatient and resort to hints. As soon as I've looked at my first hint I lose interest. I'm pleased to say I only needed to look at a walkthrough after completion, just to check that I had in fact been successful (I had). It gave me a real sense of achievement. The puzzles were fair, but not too easy and well thought out. I would personally recommend this to beginner players and IF veterans.

You will die often, so save often. Dying itself is fun and can help point you towards an eventual solution. The game is well implemented so there are often lots of opportunities to examine your surroundings, not just to complete the game but to enjoy the rich descriptive environments. So don't give up too easily if you get stuck (literally and metaphorically).

There are some great set pieces and surprises round the corners. Yet it is the consistent desperate atmosphere throughout that gives the game 5 stars from me.

I Expect You To Die, by Anthony Schuster

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Easy but fun., July 14, 2011
by calindreams (Birmingham, England)
I managed to complete this game without any hints or a walkthrough which is a rarity for me. As the title suggests, the player will die countless times. It has a nifty feature of automatically restarting you at a point in the game where you can try again. This is quite approprite in the context of this piece.

The premise of the game is that you are an agent trapped in a house where you have to disable the traps. It has a feel of a one-room game, although you navigate around the various sections of the house using standard compass directions (which aren't always perfectly implemented). It has a simple premise, but this is fleshed out as you progress.

Hints to the puzzles are built in to the narrative itself, so it is a good game for beginners. It isn't the most dazzling and original game to introduce someone to interactive fiction, but it has plenty of humour and has a quirky mid-game twist. There is a little game-within-the-game section which I enjoyed and would like to have seen developed more fully.

Some of the puzzles are a little confusing and it is a little buggy in places, but nothing that really impedes the gameplay. The first half of the game is more enjoyable. The second section lets it down a bit. The puzzles in the second half are a bit pedestrian and don't contain the immediacy and excitement of the first part. This is remedied by quite a funny epilogue.

It shouldn't take most people very long to complete it so it might prove an interesting diversion for people, especially, if like me, you like puzzles but aren't very good at them.

De Baron, by Victor Gijsbers

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Stunned, July 6, 2011
by calindreams (Birmingham, England)
I literally sat in stunned silence after completeing this piece of interactive fiction. My reaction to this game was impounded by the fact that I'd got confused with the zfiles I'd downloaded and thought that I was playing an old Scott Adams game. How wrong could I have been.

This was my first experience of a puzzleless 'game'. The warnings given by the author were very appropriate (although I only read them after I finished), although I'm not sure if it's children who need the warnings.

Disturbing and thought-provoking. I knew I wasn't playing the game I thought I was when I started having philosophical conversations with mythical beasts. Personally I wasn't so keen on the menu based conversations, but they were approprite for this piece. The typos didn't really detract from my immersion in the storyline.

I never guessed what was actually going on until the very end. It's good to see that interactive fiction is being used to explore darker territory. It's hard to say whether I'd recommend this game. But for mature adults who are willing to be disturbed and provoked, then yes, it is an important piece that deserves recognition.

Now to get on with playing 'Voodoo Castle' (the game I meant to play!)

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