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All Roads

by Jon Ingold profile

Historical/Time Travel

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Number of Ratings: 134
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- suchamazingdoge (Austin, Texas), May 12, 2019

"I'd rather be smart than be an actor." -- Pinocchio, May 11, 2019

by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
I normally am a sucker for anything involving time travel and paradoxes and I tend to prefer linear gameplay. Jon Ingold is also one of my favorite authors. So All Roads should be right up my alley. I judged the 2001 IF competition and remember giving this one a score of "6" and then being surprised it took first place and won a whole slew of XYZZY awards. I decided to play it again recently to see if time would change my mind, but I left once again feeling underwhelmed.

At first, I thought I was bothered that the shifts and paradoxes were so fast and furious that I didn't have time to get a grip on the characters or their motivations. But Shrapnel and Shade are both similar in this regard and it didn't bother me there.

But looking at Jim Kaplan's review, I think he nailed it: Ingold does not trust the player here. If you spend too much time experimenting in any particular area, the game practically force feeds you what you should type, getting you to the ending as fast as possible. I play interactive fiction because I find satisfaction in being involved in the story, even if minimally, and here I felt like a puppet on a string.

That said, it's short enough that everyone should give it a try to see if it's up their alley.

- elias67, March 12, 2019

- Stian, March 8, 2019

- getlostdont, February 5, 2019

- SchnickelFritz (TX), December 29, 2018

- Zach Shifflett (VA, United States), December 11, 2018

- Laney Berry, September 28, 2018

- Stas, April 23, 2018

- eme, March 16, 2018

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), November 17, 2017

- karlnp (Vancouver, BC), August 22, 2017

- Cory Roush (Ohio), June 20, 2017

- CMG (NYC), June 20, 2017

- Kyriakos Sgarbas (Hellas (Greece)), May 25, 2017

- hoopla, March 8, 2017

- Pegbiter (Malmö, Sweden), February 21, 2017

- Artran (Prague, Czech Republic), April 1, 2016

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
only for men (straight men), March 6, 2016
the story is full of cheap gamer clichés, where the person who plays it is in charge of pretty willing women. it is not considered that a woman plays this game. and of course it is for sad poor gamer boys who need storys where pretty pretty women are yours.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An intricate and beautiful story with its hardest puzzle at the beginning, February 3, 2016
I've recently replayed many of Jon Ingold's games, and I am very impressed with his writing. This game is probably his best story. There are some puzzles, but you are generally held by the hand and walked through them (except at the beginning, but the game basically gives up and lets you through if you don't get it).

The real puzzle in this game is trying to figure out what is really going on. Ingold knows exactly how much to say to make something cool and how little to say to keep your imagination interested.

This is a fantasy (and possibly sci-fi) game following an assassin who is trying to escape his hanging. Not only do you the player not know what is going on at first, your character doesn't either! Your mutual journey of discovery makes the game exciting.

If you get stuck on the first puzzle, don't sweat it. This is a story, and the puzzles are just side thoughts. If you prefer puzzles but enjoy his writing, Jon Ingold's Muldoon Legacy is a huge puzzle fest, much bigger than Curses! or MIT Zork.

- LynXsh, January 28, 2016

- Snave, January 24, 2016

- namekuseijin (anywhere but home), January 12, 2016

- Aryore, December 13, 2015

- Ashen_, December 12, 2015

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