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Along the River

by Matthew Alger

Slice of life
2010

(based on 1 rating)
1 member review

About the Story

The local council has begun a dredging program on the river, which is threatening the native fauna. You are taking part in a protest against just that, if you could find a costume, that is.

A short slice-of-life game.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFIDs:  FB4716F5-EBDB-4A8B-BBE3-69FF2A202943
2B5D0823-40AF-405A-8827-9B74A6A58B45
TUID: fnh8crgst92hz0sq

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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A Comedy of Errors, July 5, 2010
The premise isn’t a bad one and has potential for a quick, light game. You're on a quest for a costume to wear to a protest against the dredging of a river. Unfortunately, the premise gets lost in a host of parser errors and bad writing. Reading over the text a few times or having a beta read over it might have helped the author iron out those mistakes. There are also attempts at humor that I found either a little patronizing or plainly unfunny. Instead of trying to immerse the player in the game, the author breaks the “fourth wall”, constantly reminding us that this is all actually a game. That might be funny in certain circumstances and if done correctly, but here it was just plain annoying. A car is referred to as “the only car in the game” and when attempting to wade into the sea, we get the response of “This is a GAME. You can’t swim.” Really? Because there are plenty of IF games where swimming is very possible and even encouraged.

It’s that slightly patronizing, off-hand parser tone that ultimately drove me to dislike this game. It’s as if the author wasn’t serious about it when he was writing the game. And in my opinion, even a good joke game needs a small amount of care and serious work to be put into it.

The puzzles are easy, but come complete with a lot of glitches. For example: (Spoiler - click to show)When the PC successfully puts something into the panpipes and examines them on the next turn, we get the response of “Panpipes is empty.” Never mind the poor grammar. Apparently, there is a black-hole within the panpipes that eats up everything you put inside them and then magically teleports the items back to your inventory. This would have been very easy to correct, had the author taken the time to have this properly playtested.

Some plot devices seem contrived and some just don’ make sense. (Spoiler - click to show)If Shelly traded in the key for drugs, it must have some value. Why would the shady man under the fig tree just give it to the PC for free? After completing a task for a character and going to talk to him afterward, there is no change in his responses or actions, even though his problem has been solved. He just keeps saying the same thing over and over again.

Perhaps I’m being too hard on this, since Along the River does have a few moments of genuinely good humor and writing. I think that if a second version were to be released with some improvements, Along the River could become a really good, fun piece of IF.

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This is version 7 of this page, edited by Daniel Gunnell on 15 January 2018 at 8:53am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item