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Condemned

by Mark Jones profile

2009

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(1)
3 star:
(3)
2 star:
(6)
1 star:
(5)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 16
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1-16 of 16


A story-focused game about Christian-themed anguish, February 3, 2016
This game, which won the Golden Banana of Discord in IFComp, is a story-focused game. Despite a few searching puzzles, most of the game consists of cutscenes. You go back and forth between two worlds, reenacting a horrible tragedy, and your guilt in it.

I found it to be heavy-handed; I feel like games such as Map and Euydice deal with similar feelings of regret in a more nuanced way.

Also, the Christian theme seems underutilized; the cross is heavily referenced, and a bit of guilt and repentance, but much of the atmosphere seems like a new synthesis of thought that doesn't mesh well with preexisting Christian themes.

Interestingly Flawed, January 3, 2015
This is quite the flawed game: the writing is at times filled to the brim with similes and metaphors, many confusing, there is frequently a huge amount of text between commands (more than a page even), and there is a lot of waiting and talking (the conversation system is just typing TALK TO PERSON repetitively). You are often forced to perform actions you donít want to, but in a ďthereís nothing else you can do in the scene and the game is stuck until you doĒ way rather than in a more effective Rameses style. Long descriptions are often not cut down when seen a second time even when it feels natural that they would.

I ended up being "out of the game" pretty quickly, spending most of my thought on noticing the issues in the writing and gameplay rather than feeling I was actually in the game and feeling any of the emotional tugs that were attempted.

However, this feels like a good game to see what you shouldnít do. Unlike some other games labelled the same, some of the issues in Condemned seem to be things I could actually see myself doing if I wasnít careful and hadnít played this game and noticed why said things donít work. Thus if you are a budding IF author like me I would recommend you try to play this game, especially if you are doing parser in particular.

Even despite all this, Iím quite surprised that this game has gotten so many one-star reviews, even from those who seldom hand out one-star reviews. It doesnít feel to me like a one-star game at all, both in my personal opinion and in my perception of what games that tend to get a lot of one-star reviews from the community are like. The game is playable, decently implemented and has structure: it just doesnít have much else good.

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), February 13, 2013

- Jaxcap (Arizona), December 10, 2011

- Hannes, November 12, 2011

- Ben Cressey (Seattle, WA), January 25, 2011

- Kake (London, England), December 7, 2010

- Audiart (Davis, CA), April 6, 2010

- James Hall (UK), January 8, 2010

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Ok, It's not photopia, January 5, 2010
by Grey (Italy)
No, it's not. But it tries very hard to be it.
The genre is similar, a dramatic, plot-driven gameplay, several flashbacks putting the story together with only some puzzles, and lot of text. A LOT.
The problem is that it's very ambitious, and ultimately it falls short.

Plot driven IF works if the plot is very good, and the writing is very good, but here it's needlessly verbose, to the point of being boring.
The game has its moments, it's a pity that they are buried under screens and screens of text. (Spoiler - click to show) The garage is good, and the doll head was genuinely creepy, but the exposition angel at the end really killed the immersion.

Another problem are the "puzzles". I can understand having little or no puzzles, but the problem here is that the plot is ON top of the gameplay, and often i tried doing something while the dialogue went on in the background...distracting.

I'm sure that by pruning a lot of dialogue and repetitions it would be worth 4 stars.

Baf's Guide


The story and atmosphere are great (and that in spite of the fact there are some minor problems with the writing). The game uses a device I'm personally very fond of - gradually melting together two realities. The gameplay, however, probably isn't to everybody's taste, since it's pretty linear and includes long sequences where the player just has to press "z" turn after turn. Puzzles are rather easy and shouldn't be a problem. All in all, Condemned is a huge, incredible improvement in comparison with this author's previous games, and one of the most moving works of IF I've ever encountered altogether. I'm really disappointed it ended up so low in the Comp.

--Valentine Kopteltsev

- Juhana, November 16, 2009

- Dannii (Australia), November 12, 2009

- Ben Treat (Maine, USA), November 2, 2009

- perching path (near Philadelphia, PA, US), October 17, 2009

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Condemned, October 16, 2009
by Portmanteau
Related reviews: IF Comp 2009
A highly linear game with painfully drawn out cut scenes, Condemned appears to be the work of a teenager, and a 'disillusioned' one seems as good as any. The language is often awkward (both of the 'void' instead of 'devoid' variety, and a general attempt-at-a-literary-tone turgidity that makes reading through the often exceptionally verbose text more of a chore than it need be). Prolixity notwithstanding, the story does repeatedly achieve a sense of suspense and disquiet, at least until you get sick of pressing 'z' eleven times in a row (as is specified in the walkthrough not once, but twice!) and begin skimming the text waiting for the inevitable to happen.

The dialog is almost always hopelessly clunky, the game is dark and depressing in the manner of an overbearing "teen angst"-spawned melodrama, and your literal martyrdom is thrust in your face in a manner so brazen as to edge towards the absurd. Still, I did find myself on edge occasionally while waiting for the terrible to occur, and the game was technically competent and bug-free. A slightly lighter touch with the story and more natural language would have made this game something to remember. As it is, Condemned has more in common with the pained, quiet kid's creative writing project than any truly affecting work should.


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