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Time: All Things Come to an End

by Andy Phillips

Time Travel
1996

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Number of Reviews: 1
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Very, very long, linear sci fi game. Overly difficult puzzles, fun story, February 3, 2016
This is my first Andy Phillips game. It felt longer than any other game I have played, but it was about 200 turns shorter than Once and Future, and I suppose that Blue Lacuna or Worlds Apart might be longer.

The game is absolutely linear, consisting of 40 or more scenes. In each scene, you must do exactly the right things in a small number of turns or die horribly. You often have to grab items long before you need them, and manipulate them in unexpected ways.

The story and writing is actually quite interesting, but it seems to decay over time. The writing becomes less fresh and more repetitive in the middle (like others have said, everything is described as 'evil' for 20 or more scenes), and typos creep up in the last third.

I only recommend this with a walkthrough. The difficulty is frequently just from poor puzzle design, and not from hard puzzles.

Comments on this review

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<blank>, December 27, 2015 - Reply
Ah, you've discovered Andy Phillips. :) Something very gratifying about his games is that the design gets progressively better, his games get progressively more playable and enjoyable - always gargantuan, always difficult. This is an author that stuck to the sort of games he wanted to make, but was intelligent and humble enough to learn what works and what doesn't; every single game of his has some sticking point or other, but as you progress through his oeuvre there is less unfairness and more clarity; things get streamlined.

I think this is his first game. "Heist", "Heroine's Mantle" and "Inside Woman" are all great favourites of mine, even if I did play the endgame of Heist (and a large chunk of Heroine's Mantle) with the walkthrough in hand and I had to give up on Inside Woman near the endgame. The one lesson Phillips didn't learn - a very difficult endgame following a very difficult game is exhausting, and suddenly you realise you're not having fun anymore.

I've a soft spot for him as an author. It's unlikely we'll see another Andy Phillips game by now, but one can be hope.
namekuseijin, December 27, 2015 - Reply
fun monologue...
<blank>, December 28, 2015 - Reply
Yeah, Matt told me you got it into your head we're both the same person. If you really think that, well, have some free entertainment.

FWIW, I am incapable of any review that's shorter than six or seven big paragraphs. I'm not verbose, I get verborrhea. That alone should have clued you...
namekuseijin, December 28, 2015 - Reply
either way, thanks for pointing up Andy Philips. Never heard of him before and while the consistently low scores may seem apt for some reason or other, I'm finding the writing excellent. I'm playing Enemies, thanks to the pitching here.
<blank>, December 28, 2015 - Reply
Not my personal favourite - far too hard for the wrong reasons, or at least thje wrong reasons for me. If you get frustrated with it, and feel tempted to write off Andy Phillips... I'd encourage you to try Heist, a huge puzzler that I solved mostly by myself (a couple of hints here and there, and walkthrough for the entire endgame) in a thoroughly satisfying experience.

Then again, if you enjoy Enemies, have fun. :)
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