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Fate

by Victor Gijsbers profile

Fantasy
2007

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(13)
4 star:
(15)
3 star:
(14)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 6
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1-6 of 6


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
My favorite Gijsbers game; easy to get an ending, hard to get the best, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
As soon as I read the premise of Fate, I found it exciting. As you immediately learn, you are a pregnant queen about to give birth; you also have the capacity to see your child's future. Your goal is to change that future.

Gijsbers' game has excellent writing, reminding me of the best parts of Ian Finley's Kaged and Adam Cadre's Varicella. But what I appreciated most was something else; no matter how many IF games I play, I still seem to need walkthroughs for everything. But I didn't have this issue for this game, because:

1. You can always reach some sort of ending in the game, and your endings improve as you go on. So if you can't get more than halfway in the game, you get a halfway-decent ending.

2. Almost all of the puzzles seem to have multiple solutions.

The game has a dark theme, and includes violence. But your character is clearly motivated by a positive goal, and the game rewards you whether you choose violence or not. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that you can reach what I consider the best ending without (Spoiler - click to show)injuring the pixie. However, I didn't find a way to avoid (Spoiler - click to show)killing the gardener; but as I said, the game doesn't force you to do anything you don't want to.

The moral choices seemed a bit easier to me as well, since your character is (Spoiler - click to show)a prisoner, and (Spoiler - click to show)her family is at war with her husband, who stole her away and won't promise to stop her child from being killed.

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
I wanted more, September 18, 2011
by Deboriole (San Diego, CA)
I just played Fate several times over, and then read much of the source (after I had gotten as many endings as I could on my own). I really enjoyed solving the puzzles, and was thoroughly excited about my prospects (and what I could achieve) later in the game. The story was very interesting, and I was glued to the game for most of the day. Why only 3 stars then? Let me tell you...

I enjoyed the game up until "decision time." (Spoiler - click to show)Admittedly, I was hoping for a "fairytale" ending for all my trouble. I took great care in planning out the game (not hurting my pixie, not snake-biting my servant, etc.) but sadly fate was not affected by these decisions. I felt that I should have been able to tip the scales in my favor by doing good... that perhaps my smaller actions would snowball into a better ending. Nope.

Also, I wish there was a little more guidance toward the end of the game. As a rule, I don't like to ask for hints until absolutely necessary. I was near the end of the game (let's just say my inventory was plentiful, but I had not made my final decisions) but by that time, apparently there were no hints available! I wish the hint system would have remained intact throughout the game so I could have gotten some clarity when I decided to break down and ask for it. (I ended up reading the source which answered all of my questions.)

The most frustrating three parts of the game (for me):
1. (Spoiler - click to show)The "Greater" spell calls for a silver crown. I had not noticed that Harold wore a crown. Even if I had, I had not made my final decision. My next thought was that there must be some other way to procure a crown. I scoured the kingdom for anything made of silver, and I finally found it. The goblet. I really thought there was some secret here, since when you see the goblet it does not announce it as silver until you examine it. I wanted to melt it down to make a crown! I realize this is a little bit of a stretch, but I was trying to innovate, not having seen a crown elsewhere.
2. (Spoiler - click to show)Pixie dust for the "Sleep" spell. Okay, I admit, I played this game about ten times before I thought of a clever idea (that did not pan out). I figured if I could avoid finding the viper altogether, I could smash the blue vial, ask for pixie dust, talk to Charles, slip the ingredients into his wine, and put him to sleep. I would then go get the red vial from Amy and ask for the "Snake" spell. That way the snake wouldn't have to die and I wouldn't have to cut my pixie's wings off either! Nope, no dice. The game still cautioned me to not put Charles to sleep until the viper was handled. Rats!
3. (Spoiler - click to show)The "Haunt" spell. Ugh, this drove me mad! I was carrying all of the ingredients for this spell but no matter how I tried, I could not make a paste out of the ingredients! I tried smashing them with the mortar and pestle. I tried putting the ingredients on each other. I tried "make paste". Nothing worked! I finally gave up and went to see the witch who vengefully made the paste. Really? Why was I able to perform all of the other spells but not this one?

On a side note, I found a bug. (Spoiler - click to show)Upon restarting the game I could not ask my servant to lift the covers for me to take a nap. I had to quit out entirely and start fresh to receive this option (Yes, I examined the bed first and saw there "might be something at the foot...").

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Sufficiently makes its point, could have been more rewarding, May 6, 2010
by Irfon-Kim Ahmad (Toronto, Canada)
I just finished Fate my first time through, and I thought it was an interesting game that makes some interesting points and is definitely worth playing.

I did feel both that the game forced binary choices when there were other available options, however, and that the choices didn't feel like they had as much of an impact as I'd liked because the game plays so much like a game. By that, I mean that you don't worry about killing the aliens in Space Invaders because it's a game, it's set up, and that's what you do. This game is obviously more developed than Space Invaders, but I some of the NPCs were presented as transparent obstacles in the same way. Only a few choices really had an impact for me, and I think that more could be done to both give you a chance to develop your own character and to develop empathy toward the other characters.

As such, even though I'm aware of the existence of other endings and I can think of the points where I might have made things move differently, I'm not really compelled to play again and try to play it differently. I imagine that it has a certain degree of replay value for those who are, but that didn't really work for me. (I am wondering to what degree you can make the plot advance without making the choices I made, but not quite enough to replay.)

Still, it's a neat concept, and executed well enough to get the idea across.

0 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Bad tagging?, July 27, 2008
by jwbjerk (Mid-West USA)
This is tagged as "I7 Source Available", but there is no link to a source file.

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
Grappling with age-old questions of ends and means, April 4, 2008
by Jimmy Maher (Oslo, Norway)
Fate initially appears to be a somewhat typical text adventure. As you play, though, more layers begin to appear as you decide just what you are willing to do to protect yourself, your unborn child, and your country. Your first couple of choices are quite morally unambiguous, but later choices are not so easy at all. Are you willing to sacrifice an innocent life to save a country? Does a man who committed a murder decades ago and sincerely repented still deserve to be punished for it? These are the sorts of questions you find yourself grappling with. You always have the choice to say no, to say that the end does not justify the means. However, the stakes are high for you and yours as well.

One might argue that the game is a bit manipulative. At several points when faced with what the game obviously wanted me to regard as a stark binary decision I thought of a more morally acceptable third way, but was refused the freedom to act on my idea. Nevertheless, Fate dares to ask the sort of big questions that conventional IF seldom gets near. A must-play for everyone.

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
Fate and Decision, October 17, 2007
Fate is an exploration of player choice and moral dilemma in interactive fiction, and as pioneering work, it's worth a play.

Im not sure how much Fates moral dilemmas worked for me, though. The central question always comes down to balancing suffering are you willing to hurt X in order to save Y? and while there are many permutations and many outcomes possible in the game, the choice often felt essentially arbitrary. Gijsbers does attempt to sketch in story, to provide weight and characterization to some of the characters, but I felt there was not enough meat here to make the major decision points really powerful.

So I enjoyed the game, and I thought it was an interesting essay in designing IF. I also thought it did not quite accomplish what it could have if it had framed its dilemmas a little differently (pitting different principles against one another) or else developed its characters more deeply (to make more interesting the choice of who has to suffer).


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