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About the StoryYou're standing in the silent graveyard, by the entrance to the crypt Wil pulled you out of when she rescued you. The sky grows brighter and brighter behind you; soon, it'll be too light outside for you to stand it. You're terrified, and excited, to go back in.
You'll sleep easier after the task is done - or you'll be dead, really truly dead, and it won't matter.
43rd Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)
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Number of Reviews: 3
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The caverns that we traverse are a curious combination of good and not-so-good world building. The dungeon is especially effective, conjuring up images of horror without descending into gory details. But there are also numerous points of the “you’re at an intersection and can go in these and these directions”-type. I did enjoy traversing the catacombs, but it seems there was a lot more potential here for atmosphere and memorability.
There did seem to be a bit of a mismatch between the way the game tells us that the elder vampire is really scary and powerful, and the incredible ease with which one can depose of him. How did this guy ever earn his fearsome reputation if a newly freed thrall can kill him with no trouble at all? I certainly didn’t dislike the ending, but I again felt that there was untapped potential here. (What if you could only become strong enough to defeat the enemy if you first sucked every last drop of blood from the two human prisoners? Okay, I realise that that is the kind of game design that takes us squarely into the realm of my own obsessions, and the current author might not be interested in it at all. Still, it’s one way to make victory feel more costly and more consequential.)
I ran into a couple of bugs – a game-ending one if you tried to avoid the pit trap for the second time, and a bug where you can repeat the fight with the elder vampire as if it had never happened before – but those can easily be fixed.
All in all, enjoyable, with some strong moments, but more could have been achieved.
Essentially a twine version of a vampire table top RPG module, June 1, 2019
This isn’t typical of most IFComp games, but it’s what I played around with a lot growing up, so I had a nostalgia factor while playing this.
Going back to the same parts over and over again was a bit frustrating, and it can be difficult to strategize. Death and failure are easy, while success is not.
Overall, I see this as a successful game.
Atmospheric game in which you play as a vampire, November 23, 2018
Playing this game brought back some of the same feelings I had reading the better of those old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books as a kid. Something like "You're walking down a corridor deep underground. There's a sound coming from the side tunnel to the left. Up ahead the main tunnel appears to fork. One branch features well-set stone, and the other has a dirt floor. Which do you choose?"
It's atmospheric and it pulls you in. I found myself hesitating before making each decision because the game led me to feel like my choices actually mattered.
However, I eventually discovered that this turns out not to be entirely the case. The story repeatedly lets you backtrack during your trek through the lair. I liked that from a playability standpoint, although it did take away some of my feeling of agency. (To be fair, this is also something that many of those old CYOA books allowed you to do.)
My major criticism of the game is that it felt too abrupt at the end - anticlimactic, even. But I enjoyed it overall.
Into the Lair is horror-themed, and it does feature vampires, but I wouldn't have trouble recommending it to ten-year-olds who like adventure stories. Adults can enjoy it, too, of course.
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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 23 November 2018 at 2:27pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item