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-- Duncan Stevens
[...] All Alone is a short but well put together effort that adapts the horror genre to IF nicely, with some unusual elements. Give it a try if you have a spare 10 minutes late at night. (Duncan Stevens)
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Number of Reviews: 10
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This really is a 'mood piece', and should be played as one. Don't expect very much interactivity, or that the choices you do will have much effect on the final outcome (this is, after all, a horror story). The writing is generally good, and manages to convey an increasingly creepy atmosphere, though the parser is only adequate, with a bit too many unknown words. Many people find the ending a bit confusing, but it's not bad, really. All in all, this is a good, if somewhat flawed, mood piece. With a better parser and a better ending, it would have gained an extra star from me.
Note that the author suggests (or rather requires!) that the game be played at night, in a quiet room, and with the lights off. I agree, and also recommend you use an interpreter that supports sound (and no, there won't be any loud screams to scare you, just a few well-placed minor sound effects). The result should be an increasingly uncomfortable experience as the game progresses, which for this type of game is good thing!
What is good about All Alone is that it sets a mood and sets it well. It turns the player-character identification that some have seen as a drawback of IF into a great strength. This is how atmospheric horror ought to be done: claustrophobia, being alone, unexpected events. The uncapitalised out-of-viewpoint-character phrases were especially effective.
On the other hand, most of the story is very much clichéd, and the ending, which isn't, is its weakest part. I think this might have worked better as a game with a stronger puzzle content: you get to try and hide, and depending on how well you do it, you may live for a longer time -- perhaps even survive? Or perhaps not. There are possibilities for more suspense and anxiousness here.
Certainly worth reading … and re-reading! once or twice. The details of the story and even the length of the piece varies a bit depending on what you decide to do (there may be more to do than you think) and in what order. Writing is good, and, playing this all alone on a dark and stormy night, you’d better hope your phone doesn’t ring.
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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Emily Boegheim on 13 June 2009 at 1:44am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item