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About the StoryOn the old pilot station island, where you live with your parents, the war fought with Earth and Martian rocket-ships and Atomic Heat Rays exist only in the sonorous voice of the newscaster on the radio, and as food for your imagination. Today your parents have left you alone to mind the station while they head for the mainland for some supplies. A big job for a six year old, who is about to have an encounter that changes his life forever.
1st Place - Spring Thing 2012
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Related reviews: childhood, setting, spring thing, science fiction, SF, fantasy, make-believe
Though capable overall, both the writing and the overall design have some rough patches. The prose feels a little first-draftish in places. Most of the gameplay is quite narrowly focused -- probably too much so, in the make-believe sequence -- but there are a couple of points where the solution is a little counterintuitive. The denouement is rather heavily foreshadowed, the protagonist is perhaps a little bit too much of a Disney innocent. But there are many gleaming moments here, little bursts of rich, world-grounded imagery that make this feel less like a fantastic piece and more like a childhood memoir.
As science fiction IF goes, it's uncommonly good in that it has its feet planted on the ground, it grasps and is concerned about the flight-of-fancy aspect of the genre.
You play as a young child on a lonely outpost in the sea during a war between Earth and Mars. Alone for the day, you get to use your imagination around the island, until events take a sudden turn.
The multiple viewpoints reminded me favorably of Rover's Day Out and Delphina's House.
There were a few parts where the interactivity just didn't do it for me, which is why I deducted one star.
Or rather, after one more "puzzle" it turns into exposition, exposition, exposition followed by talk to, talk to, talk to, until time runs out. The End.
Played several times, getting a couple different endings, eventually deciding that one of the ones I initially considered a "bad ending" (interestingly enough, the first ending I tried) may have been the best for all involved.
Gameplay itself is OK. There are several spots were a seemingly obvious object (mentioned in the narration) can't be examined or interacted with, and there are several areas that are mentioned but permanently blocked off for one reason or another. Not a deal-breaker, but a bit annoying.
The game had a lot of potential, and it was good for what it was, but I would've preferred more interaction in the second half, and perhaps even a chance to change the outcome ((Spoiler - click to show)talk to your parents, attempt to send a radio message, let someone know what you've found out.) I would love to see another IF game by this author, but sadly, it doesn't appear there are any at the moment.
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This is version 10 of this page, edited by cas on 25 November 2019 at 8:34pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item