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I.A.G. Alpha

by Serhii Mozhaiskyi

Science Fiction
2018

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Number of Ratings: 6
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1-6 of 6


- Max Crow (United States), February 11, 2019

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A brilliant choice game with a meta narrative and text input, February 3, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This is a well-done IFComp 2018 game.

It runs in ITCH and is primarily choice-based. The conceit is that the author wanted to develop a big, fun sci-fi fi puzzle game, but didn't succeed.

Instead, he leaves the frame of his unfinished game alone, and adds author commentary. As the game progresses, the protagonist has more and more power to affect the game itself.

The styling is excellent, with several beautiful images and switches between different interfaces. The music is lovely and appropriate.

This is a game made with love, and it shows.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Brilliant meta game, November 23, 2018
I.A.G. Alpha was my favorite game from IFComp 2018, and I played all of them. An English translation of a work originally written in Russian, I.A.G. Alpha appears to be an unfinished game about a guy working at a post-Soviet research institute. Its opening text consists of a note from the author explaining that he never finished writing the game but decided to release what he had written anyway. On the second screen there are comments like "TODO: finish the scene on the roof" and "TODO: comment out the debugger." And, sure enough, there's a DEBUGGER command in the upper right corner that lets you peek into parts of the game's source code. After a few scenes the author stops the action once again, this time to say that he thinks the introductory text is too long, to detail what his original plan for the game was, and then to explain more about why he never finished it.

You play a little further, and you eventually come to realize that the "unfinished" aspect of the game you are purportedly playing is entirely intentional - in fact, it's a setup for the real game to pull what I think is the most genius meta move I've ever seen. I really don't want to spoil it by giving it away, but it's so simple and yet so fundamental. And that's what makes it work so well.

An absolutely brilliant game.

IFComprehensive

All the different interfaces are well done individually and combine into a coherent whole. The conceit of reviving an earlier buggy game is charming, and the missing graphics and author notes throughout the game are excellent touches.

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McT's Interactive Fiction Reviews

Truly meta, in the best possible sense, this little puzzly choice game is a delight. It is anything but incomplete, this game. It is a completely polished little gem. <...> The only ding this game gets is for its length. Im thoroughly enjoying it, then it ends. I do get it though this must have taken quite a bit of implementing.

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- Oreolek (Kemerovo, Russia), October 9, 2018


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