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volant.zip
Contains volant.taf
Requires an ADRIFT version 4 interpreter. Visit the ADRIFT site for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

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Starship Volant: Stowaway

by C. Henshaw

Space Exploration
2007

(based on 1 rating)
1 member review

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: ADRIFT
Baf's Guide ID: 3021
IFID: ADRIFT-400-7625D3E36D623D025EBACCA5BD4F3F39
TUID: a3gpe8qrp33kokz9

Awards

3rd Place - Spring Thing 2007

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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
the only thing missing is Patrick Stewart's sexy voice, August 22, 2011
by Lumin (Texas)
Coming in third place in the Spring Thing 2007, Christy Henshaw's "Starship Volant: Stowaway" is a short sci-fi adventure about...well, a stowaway on the Starship Volant, as you might have guessed from the title. The structure of the game is a bit different from your average work of
IF, though the characters, plot, and especially the setting all contain elements that might give anyone who's ever seen an episode of Star Trek a sense of deja vu. (To me this is a good thing, but your mileage may vary...)

One of the unusual things about the game is that there are multiple main characters. Five of them, to be exact: the captain, pilot, security officer, ship's doctor, and chief engineer. Each of them are given some time in the spotlight when it comes to resolving the crisis the ship faces,
and each have distinctive personality quirks and a bit of history that makes the whole process more interesting.

Which leads us to the second unusual thing; a prologue was included to let you get to know the different characters by trying them out at your leisure, chat with other crew members, and do a little exploring on the side. The prologue isn't necessary to play the game, but it does give
some backstory, and I highly recommend at least taking enough time for a tour of the ship, since the detail here is an area where the game really shines (and later you may be too busy to enjoy it).

As I said, at a glance the setting is fairly familiar, so while most people won't have have any trouble figuring out what transporters and replicators and the like are for, there are tons of interesting little details scattered around in people's quarters and elsewhere that really help flesh out the game world.

Unfortunately that's about it for the prologue; there are no puzzles, nor anything else you can actually DO there, which can make your first impression of SV:S be that it drags a bit much and starts to get tedious, at least until you skip to the game proper. When I first played I suggested to the author that some sort of goal for that part (such as a simple non-pressing task for each person to perform) would improve the pacing, and after a recent replay I still feel that way.

However once the ACTUAL game begins, things move fast as you are switched from character to character, each with an important job to do. The puzzles themselves could have stood to be more challenging, but I thought the way they were presented was interesting in and of itself; there are a few cases where you do the typical IF thing of searching around and manipulating objects, but most of the time the obstacles you're actually faced with are decisions. The best approach to take with hostile, trigger happy aliens, whether to put moral concerns above the safety of the ship, etc.

I wound up really enjoying this approach, though as I stated the puzzles were a bit too easy for my tastes. The dilemma the ship faced might have been thought-provoking and suspenseful, rather than just mildly interesting if finding the right solutions had taken more work, with tougher consequences for screwing up.

Though of course the above paragraph all comes down to taste, and anyway I suspect that my REAL complaint is that I enjoyed the game and wanted more. Sadly, SV:S is rather brief (especially for a Spring Thing entry) and it seems like just when the plot starts heating up, it fastforwards to the end.

On the bright side, the epilogue left me with the impression that a sequel is in the works, and the setting itself could easily support a nearly infinite number of bite-sized, increasingly improbable adventures for the crew, just like a certain TV show...

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