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About the StoryScotland, 1594: You're used to strange requests in your role as servant to John Napier. He's not just famous as a mathematician, but is also known for his occult skills and knowledge, still valued in these dangerous times. But the latest quest may be the toughest one yet, as you prepare to help him hunt for lost treasure in remote Fast Castle, home of the dangerous Logan of Restalrig. Will you find it? Or will you discover something else instead?
Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2020
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Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
Napier's Cache is effective and uncomplicated. Simple puzzles are a vehicle for the evocation of servant-filled historical atmospheres, with locations such as the eccentric mathematician's quarters and a windswept Scottish castle. The PC, also a servant of sorts, is observant and resourceful, and views his master through a lens of dependable but arms-length loyalty. NPCs range from dim guards to blustery lords, and the social stratosphere is conveyed by the way the high-ranking characters deliver orders and exposition while 'the help' actually interact with or help the PC. The implementation of the characters is solid enough for each one's purpose.
The game potentially feels a bit short, but this is a sign that what's here is engaging. It delivers a bit of a lot of different effects – multiple locations, exploration, treasure-hunting, easy puzzling, human and animal NPCs – to create a satisfying experience.
Napier's Cache is in an unusual niche of historical fiction, and is based on a family story of the author.
It is fairly linear in story with nonlinear interactions in each 'phase'. You first have a small treasure hunt, followed by a dinner scene, then another treasure hunt and a simple maze.
In design it reminds me quite a bit of Christminster, an early (pre-IFComp) inform game that was well-regarded at the time, that also had you doing things like eating at a dinner with scholars and discovering the history of old alchemists.
Overall, the quality is well-done, and most reasonable interactions are coded for. I enjoyed each iteration of this better than the previous, and I believe this is something to be proud of.
Each scene puts you in a different situation as the servant of mathematician/alchemist Napier. You are his hands and eyes in this easy treasure quest.
The scenes are very well written, letting you feel the atmosphere of the castle, the cave,... The NPCs have distinct characters, adding to the immersion in the story.
All in all, more a series of historical impressions than a full-fledged game, but very enjoyable.
Great side-effect of this game: it sent me on my own treasure hunt to find out more about this John Napier, an intruiging personality in the history of mathematics.
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This is version 5 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 28 August 2020 at 1:20am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item