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About the StoryThe year is 1957, and the place is lush, storm-tossed Stinglash Island, just off the north coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula. You are Page LeBlanc, witch in training, and you've returned for another year at dear old Whitefield...and it's definitely not your fault you're a day late.
You arrive to find an empty dock. A locked building. And evidence that the day you missed wasn't just another typical first day at school.
Make use of five different magic spells, meet a cast of quirky classmates, and fully explore the Academy grounds...damaging property, unbalancing ecosystems, and eating way too much gingerbread along the way.
(This is the beta version of the game; it should be fully playable and possible to complete, but much of the flavor and scenery is yet to be fleshed out, and a lot of things that seem like they should do something don't.)
Tips for playing:
To cast a spell on something, use the name of the spell as a verb.
Look at everything, including yourself. Sometimes item descriptions include hints on how to proceed.
You can't die and it should not be possible to put the game in an unwinnable state, so try everything!
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Number of Reviews: 1
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This is one of the best examples of a non choice-based Quest game I've seen in a while. Even though the story obviously pulls inspiration from several sources (Infocom spell-fests, J.K.Rowling) the writing is clever and at the level where it feels like one of Infocom's old-school fictions, perhaps aimed at the WISHBRINGER crowd. The female protagonist returns to her not-Hogwarts magic school a day late to find everyone missing, frozen, or worse. The game touts five re-usable spells and from the section I played seemed tightly coded...
Except I *ached* for this story to be in Glulx or Tads with a more robust parser. I'm on a Mac, and therefore cannot play Quest games offline, so each turn takes from half a second to about five seconds to register, and while that doesn't sound like much, it's like walking through sticky mud. Also, many of the standard modern conveniences such as word synonyms (READ BOOK? Nope. READ SPELLBOOK) and some pronoun handling (TAKE BOOK. EXAMINE IT sometimes failed to catch what I was talking about) are noticeably absent from the interface. Fortunately Quest provides an inventory list and a list of exact items in scope so that's not a huge deal, but it felt clunky to type TAKE CAKE. (whoops) TAKE CUPCAKE frequently. I did enjoy some Quest features, such as a colorful automatic map and a compass rose showing viable directions at all times.
The author is quite on the ball (loved the trashy romance novel excerpt) and has included some original art as well. I'm almost certain she would be conscientious about synonyms and the like if Quest made it easy. I'm not vastly experienced with Quest, but I know creating a parser-style game on the order of one this fully-implemented is quite a huge task involving advanced scripting concepts despite the language's "easy" trappings which is why many of the games that come out using it (unlike this one) are relatively simple or CYOA.
I hope to continue this, which means I'm going to have to register for the Quest site (I'm sure I have before, just don't remember it) in order to save my progress. Definitely worth a look if you are on PC and can download the off-line Quest runner, or have a lot more patience than I do.
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