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Snowquest

by Eric Eve profile

Fantasy
2009

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(18)
3 star:
(18)
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(4)
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Number of Reviews: 6
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1-6 of 6


2 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Version Versus Version, March 4, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)
Atmospheric, entertaining game with a high re-play value. I recommend playing both versions just to experience the different endings (I prefer the original release.) The puzzles are simple, but not too easy. Despite some repetitve commands and a linear plot there is still some legroom in Snowquest's simple yet picturesque landscape. (Other games fall short in this regard, such as also-ran Condemned and the notorious Photopia.)

The first release is less artful in its use of language, less subtle in its metaphor (which is saying a lot!). However, the revised ending (Spoiler - click to show)involving time travel is less realistic in the context of the game world. The beginning of the game has the almost magical mood of a fantasy; the original ending balances this out with a down-to-earth scenario that is equally believable.

Critics are howling about the (Spoiler - click to show)three "realities" in this game. I did not find this confusing, but rather I thought it was implemented nicely! My straightforward interpretation is (Spoiler - click to show)the first and last realities are parallel. The middle scenario (apprentice finds the pilot) is an alternate reality for either the first or the last reality. The author made this clear and the subtlety adds to the game.

Fast-moving, story-based game in the icy wilderness, February 16, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)
You've been on this quest for so long, you can hardly figure out what's going on. All you know is that if you remain in this snow any longer, you'll die.

I enjoyed playing this game, mainly because it is more than it seems. The writing is descriptive and clear; the sense of pacing faultless. Snowquest is very much a story-based game, rather than character-based or even puzzle-based; establishing a distinctive PC voice isn't an emphasis here.

My playthrough was almost entirely free of mechanical issues, by which I mean problems with guessing verbs, not knowing what to do and so on. The puzzles are largely well-designed, with what you need to solve them usually pretty clear. I found navigation a bit of a chore sometimes, especially in the larger initial world, because the exit lister seemed to disappear without explanation - I suspect this is a technical/interpreter issue, but it disrupted the flow of the game. There is also a guess-the-verb puzzle, through which I bulldozed with the hints.

Overall, Snowquest is a linear, mildly puzzle-y game, making up a little less than an hour's play.

Essentially two games in one. Short, mosly linear, fairly easy and fun, February 3, 2016
As others have noted, this game has essentially two parts (not including short, one-shot scenes).

The first part is very enjoyable, more than any Eric Eve game I have played. In its crispness, focus, and detail, and linearity, it reminded me of Dual Transform by Plotkin. You are an adventurer in the snow, trying to helo your civilization.

The second part fell flat for me, especially the ending. It seemed the author left much unfinished. The puzzles were still good; although I missed an inventory item by not reading descriptions.

Overall, I recommend this gamee.

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Great for an evening, just don't expect anything too deep., March 2, 2010
by Danielle (The Wild West)
Related reviews: short games
Snowquest is a competent work with a little extra depth than your usual short game. The first half of the game has a great sense of setting; the first scenes especially have a sense of peril to them. It uses the (Spoiler - click to show)"it was only a dream" trope a number of times, but uses the dreamlike atmosphere in a way that keeps the scenario interesting, rather than feeling like a cop-out. I especially liked (Spoiler - click to show)the scene where you discover yourself in the downed plane.

The game changes dramatically during the second half. While the elements of the first half don't match up to the second half's parts one-to-one, I still enjoyed the dream logic going on, even though the ending was forgettable.

An enjoyable way to spend your night. Not a perfect work (others have noted problems with implementation), but better than most reruns.

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Enjoyable, but ultimately flawed, November 16, 2009
I found it hard to evaluate this game. On the one hand, it’s very well written, the plot is engaging, it’s all well implemented, there are many striking images and it draws you in. On the other – well, I leave it feeling very dissatisfied with how it all turns out. (Note: the rest of this review contains unhidden *mild* spoilers - don’t read it if you want the playing experience to be totally unspoiled - I have of course hidden the more explicit spoilers.)

This is one of those games that puts you into a fairly clear situation, lets you play it for a while, and then it turns out that you’re not really in that situation at all. Personally I find this kind of approach not only rather cliched (it’s only a small step from waking up to find it was all just a dream) but also somewhat annoying: it takes energy to invest into believing in the situation that the game presents us with, and to be told that in fact this situation isn’t real after all can make you feel a bit cheated.

In the case of Snowquest there are definitely mitigating factors. Things that happen in one reality are mirrored in another. (Spoiler - click to show)The obvious example is the wolf in the initial story, who appears as Agent Wolf in the final one – and throwing a stick at him defeats him both times. The theme of “snow” is obviously constant throughout as well. However, I found the overall story quite baffling. This was especially so given that there seemed to be not two but three realities. (Spoiler - click to show)The first is the initial situation, which ends with the finding of the book. Then you’re taken back to the cave of the first part of the game, implying that all the stuff that just happened didn’t really happen; this ends with the finding of yourself in the plane. And finally there’s the “real” reality in the airport. It seems that the *second* of these two realities is shown to you by Wolf in an attempt to prevent you from flying off with the parcel. But what on earth is the first reality? Was it part of the hallucination, and if so, why did Wolf induce it? What purpose does this setting – which seems to be far in the future – have within the story as a whole? Why was the book hidden in such an odd way, and why was the skeleton held together with gold thread? Even the final explanations didn’t really explain very much. These things led to my being far more confused than enlightened at the end of the game. On reflection, what I find odd is that the initial scenario seems to be much better thought through, and generally fleshed out and interesting, than the final “reality” is. Is this deliberate? Perhaps, but it feels wrong.

Overall, the game plays well and the writing is good. It is pretty well implemented, although there are occasional annoying lapses (“examine mountain”, when you’re standing on it, doesn’t give a very helpful response). I found one very annoying “guess the verb” puzzle: (Spoiler - click to show)you are supposed to “turn” the bone when it is in the slot, but “move”, “push”, or any other action won’t work. Given that there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of logic to this scene to start with, it’s hard to see how one could be expected to guess that.

So I must admit that I found this game more frustrating than anything else, mainly because the longer it goes on, the less sense it seems to make. Perhaps this is deliberate and the game is meant to leave the player somewhat unsettled, but if so I’m afraid it didn’t do a great deal for me. The good implementation and writing, together with a story that is interesting (if increasingly disorienting), mean it gets a decent score for me, but the aforementioned problems (at least from my point of view) mean the score isn’t as high as perhaps it might have been.

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful and surreal, a must-play , November 3, 2009
I lost track of time as I played Snowquet and that’s not something that happens to me often. The writing flows effortlessly, drawing the player in right away. The descriptions are beautifully written, without being unnecessarily long. I found the dream sequence wonderfully surreal, to the point that I no longer felt like I was typing away on a computer.

The puzzles were well-clued and didn’t keep me guessing for too long. When I did have to resort to using the built-in hints, I found them to be well-paced, giving me the perfect nudge in the right direction.

A big part of Snowquest is exploration of the environment. There are times in the game when only very close examination of your surroundings will reveal what must be done next.

The plot seems rather straightforward at first, but there are definitely twists up ahead. At the first of those twists, I found myself staring at my computer screen for a few seconds, trying to take in the new development. The most interesting thing about Snowquest is how well the storyline comes together in the end. Even all the minor details that seemed out of place before fit it nicely in the last few scenes.

Snowquest is a must-play for everyone, whether you’re just discovering IF or have been playing it for a long time.


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