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About the StoryYou play as an American tourist visiting Shinobu Palace in Japan hoping to learn more about your ancestor, Matsuo Kaneiji, an infamous samurai executed for treason. Through several puzzles and flashbacks, you (with the gods' help!) will explore his life and correct an ancient wrong.
-- Emily Short
So I do recommend this game. I think it will be better a version or two down the line, if Rohde chooses to polish it up based on initial player response, because there are some points where the implementation makes things unnecessarily frustrating. But it succeeds at much that it attempts -- to offer an old-school game with a cool, fresh setting. And it is ambitious enough to take more than your standard-issue two-competition-hours to play, which is a nice change, these days.
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In addition to being a traditional text adventure, an atmospheric piece, and a story-driven game, Katana is one more thing: a first attempt. And while it clearly represents a decent one, there're a number of details showing that its author had little or no experience when working on it. [...] The positive aspects are the genuine fun the author clearly had writing it (this fun shows through, say, in a number of witty responses to weird player input), and the attention to details. And they outweigh the negative ones, despite the fact that you could get a different impression reading all my nitpicking. ;)
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The story, too, left me unsatisfied. The fantasy elements were great. My favorite thing about it was the magic. But the romance was melodramatic and I found it shallow and overly sweet. It would have been better if it were more subtle and wistful, instead of the player character being treated shamefully during the endgame because the only thing that mattered was being reunited. It especially annoyed me because I was the one doing all the work.
The game is worth playing for the scenery and mythology. There some graphic violence scenes, but only when necessary.
If you enjoyed Katana...
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"The sun has gone. It must be brought. You have a rock." [--blurb from Competition '99]
PollsThe following polls include votes for Katana:
Diversity in IF by The Xenographer
Most English-language IF that's set in something resembling the real world seems to deal with vaguely WASP-y types in the US, the UK, Australia, or Canada. What are some works that explore different settings from these and/or characters...
Games with "logical" puzzles by Victor Gijsbers
Some puzzles--like chess problems or sudokus--can be difficult even though you know all the rules. I'm looking for IF games with this kind of puzzle: you can get to know the rules by simple exploration, and then you still have to solve...
This is version 7 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 20 August 2015 at 7:27am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item