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Divis Mortis

by Lynnea Dally profile


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Number of Reviews: 8
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1-8 of 8

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fun!, May 22, 2020
by GhostGabriel
Related reviews: Horror
I had a fun time with Divis Mortis. I should probably start by saying I'm new to IF, especially parser IF. I first fell in love with video games playing old school Resident Evil (1-3) and that introduced me to the concept of solving mostly item-based puzzles while running around a zombie infested area. I was looking for an IF horror game to scratch that same itch. And for the most part, Divis Mortis does.

I enjoyed the descriptions of rooms and items. The writer gives enough description to show you the world with enough ambiguity to paint your own mental picture. I felt that the puzzles were mostly intuitive, but there is one way to get stuck and have to start over (or restore a pretty early save slot). (Spoiler - click to show) It has to do with the outside. You have the option to barricade the doors to the outside. After a time (maybe a certain number of moves) the game says basically, "the zombies are coming. better shore up your defenses." So I barricaded the door with the bench. BUT! You have to get a toolkit from your car outside before barricading the door. Once you barricade it, the noise attracts zombies and you can't go out again. If you barricade the door before you get the toolkit from your car, you have to start over. This game is about 25 rooms so its not THAT hard to play back to the point you need to, but I would still rather have gotten some kind of prompt, such as "I'd better check the outside first before I barricade myself in here." It would have saved a lot of frustration. I know I went on a bit of a rant, but that dead end completely broke my immersion in an otherwise great experience.

Like other reviewers said, I also wish this game were longer. It's a world and play style that I would love to spend more time in and explore.

And my only other complaint is the ending. Without spoiling it, it took a drastic shift in tone. It felt like the author was up against a deadline and rushed the ending.

BUT, even with those issues I still loved this game. I would encourage any IF survival horror fans to check it out!

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A solid game, March 27, 2020
by SpecialAgent (Sydney)
Related reviews: zombie apocalypse
Divis Mortis has an atmospheric setting, nice prose interspersed with gruesome descriptions, and some classic puzzles. I enjoyed playing this game in the evenings over two days. The author's description of the world is darkly colorful, and there are some unique twists to the zombie lore which was a nice touch.

There were a couple of problems however - Some grammatical and spelling mistakes, and a parser problem that made it difficult to use one of the weapons: (Spoiler - click to show)It allows you to FIRE THE GUN (which shoots into space and wastes a bullet), but does not allow you to FIRE THE GUN AT THE ZOMBIE, or even ATTACK ZOMBIE WITH THE GUN. In the end, you have to SHOOT THE ZOMBIE. There was also one puzzle that seemingly required real-world knowledge that I did not possess, and the author did not hint (that I saw) how to solve it: (Spoiler - click to show)Mixing ammonia and bleach creates toxic sulfur vapors.

A solid game for the author's first IF story. Recommended.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Do Zombies go to heaven when they, uhm...?, January 2, 2020
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: Horror
A zombie game in a closed building where you wake up all alone with no memory of how you got there; all while the living dead could break through the door any minute. Yeah, I know...
Play this one though. It's very polished and well implemented. There's lots to explore, and examine. And you learn a lot about barricades: how to erect them properly if the creatures mustn't get through, how to get through them if you yourself must. Also: chemistry, yaay!

The game has a twist at the end, but you must be blind and deaf not to have felt it coming. Still nice though.

I particularly liked the epilogue. It gives Divis Mortis some gravitas, albeit after the fact. (Well, it is an epilogue...)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Good for a few hours of zombie fun. Good puzzles and story, mostly polished, February 3, 2016
Divis Mortis is the best game of its genre (zombie survival) that I have played. Similar to Babel, you wake up in a medical building, not knowing who you are. Unlike Babel, there are many others in the building with you, and the building is a normal hospital. Or, it WAS a normal hospital.

This game does a good job of portraying the tense scenes associated with zombie survival movies; coming face to face with zombies, trying to find basic necessities, etc. The puzzles definitely feel like part of the game, and not just a bunch of silly exercises to run through.

The game isn't quite as well polished as the very best games on IFDB, but it is obviously well-tested and does a good job. It lasts for a few hours.I recommend it.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Really Good and leaves me wondering, February 12, 2012
by tggdan3 (Michigan)
First, the really good:

I like the writing, which I found to be eerie with tons of little touches you should find in a zombie apocalypse scenario (such as the severed head in the stove). The author tackles the abandonitis well with little hints in the background that suggests that the survivors may have turned on each other, and that someone went to the effort of pre-looting and cleaning up bodies. Kudos.

What it leaves me wondering on is why I finished the game with only 89 points. The puzzles were all fairly straightforward, there were none I had to go to hints for, and they were intuitive. It took me a while to figure out a couple of them (such as how to get to the second floor) but that satisified me even more as I solved them.

There was a slight (perhaps purposeful or not) ability to cheat a bit- using GET ALL tends to grab the important items, which gave me some hints as to what to grab. (Though this is deceptive- there are objects you end up needing that don't fall under the "all" category). Also looking behind objects gives no response, no error message, which left me worried that there were items I was supposed to look behind, as the command was parsed with no error message for the wrong things.

I was impressed with the way the zombie "cure" issue was tackled. There is a bit of an ending twist, though I guessed it right away (perhaps having been tainted by 9:05), though when I tried an action which I thought made sense given the twist, the game told me I was on the wrong track, so I did a little eye roll when the twist was revealed later.

I was a little bummed that it seemed like the only way to progress was to act violently towards a survivor, thought it made sense. Perhaps there was another way that I missed.

There are also items that you get that seem important, but perhaps are not, such as a variety of objects you can wear to cover parts of your body. There are also a few issues where you can screw yourself up if you do things in the wrong order. This adds to the flavor though in some cases.

All in all a good game. Wouldn't mind seeing an expanded zombie game, perhaps in a larger area. Interested in seeing other works by the author.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
The zombie IF I have been searching for., February 12, 2012
I must admit to a hefty bias coming into this: I do loves me some zombies. I get the feeling, reading other reviews, that people are generally tired of the shambling, hungry dead. I suppose the IF zombie over-saturation was before my time, then. I can barely find any of the stuff. Nevertheless, if you promise to keep an open mind concerning the children of Romero, I promise to be as objective as possible reviewing this little gem. Deal?

First off, this particular zombie apocalypse puts its emphasis squarely on the "apocalypse" part. The horror comes more from solitude, atmosphere, and despair than from "Oh crap that dead guy totally wants to eat me." The prose is tight, and efficient, never letting you forget that you are (almost) alone in a dead world, balancing on the brink of joining the uncountable tally of the dead.

But it's not as oppressive and fatalist as that sounds. Dally wisely (and expertly, I believe) straddles the line between levity and horror, never letting the game slip too far in either direction. Think Evil Dead 2, as opposed to its trilogy-neighbors.

So as a story, I dig Divis Mortis, and I hope you will too. As a game? It succeeded for me. The puzzles were intuitive, with no Insane Troll Logic. I only needed the thorough built-in hint system once, for a bit near the end. I knew what needed to be done, I just expected it to be more complicated than it was.

The bottom line: Play this game now, even if you're sick of zombies.

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Zombies, At Your Service, May 28, 2011
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)
Divis Mortis is in a word, split-personality. The first few moves reveal a stomach-wrenching experience and with that out in the open, you think you know what kind of ride you're in for. But you're wrong, because then the silly one-liners show up. Danielle is right. These attenuate the horror instead of amping it up. Lynnea, if you're listening, we can handle it. True horror fans don't need lighter elements. Give us the soul-soaking dread and doom of pure zombie madness. Ahem.

Yes, this game is a zombie survival game, but more fair and playable than some others of the genre (Resident Evil series, I'm looking at you). It's a richly-detailed world, and the author knows her medical terminology. The descriptions are succinct, sometimes cold, but always sufficient. The puzzles range from fairly simple to medium difficulty, with the exception of one which requires the hints.

Anyways, Divis Mortis (cool name BTW) has some other problems. These are mostly grammatical, but occasionally, are more serious. For instance, you can escape one particular zombie simply by running past him, even though your character is rooted to the spot in dread. That zombie then disappears. He's nowhere to be found. Another rather serious issue involves the order in which you do certain things. (Spoiler - click to show)It turns out that you need to retrieve an item from your car; however, if you barricade the doors to the outside first, you can never get back out to get to your car. Yet another issue involves (Spoiler - click to show)what happens to the lamp once you drop it into the basement. The basement has light, but the lamp and the rope disappear.. More troubling still are some of the logical leaps that the game makes, as if the plot were not throughly worked out.

It looks like there are multiple endings; I finished the game with a score of 88 out of 100, but I'm uncertain what else I could have done. The ending that I did achieve was again, split-personality. It proved to be initially interesting (why did the former victim behave the way he did?) but panned out to be cheesy and unsatisfying. The PC flavor and the humor closed the game with a wink and a nod, not a roundhouse to the solar plexus.

Divis Mortis is not a suffocating overcoat of gothic dread, despite the name; it is a partly serious survival zombie game. All horror fans should give it a whirl, but the hardcore aficionados will most likely be disappointed by its nonserious bent.

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Basic Training for the Zombie Apocalypse, April 16, 2011
by Danielle (The Wild West)
In the "About" section of this game, the author writes: "The inspiration for Divis Mortis comes from my own life. I am rather fearful of a zombie attack, to the point where upon entering rooms I think about how to best barricade them, I make sure to stock up on blunt objects and canned food, and I always am running through scenarios in my head."

In this regard, DIVIS MORTIS succeeds quite well. If ONE EYE OPEN contained the horror and surreal aspects of SILENT HILL, then DIVIS MORTIS surely contains all the "survival" feelings. As you search the hospital for escape, you see how your, ah, "predecessors" fared. This environment makes it easy to believe that you are in peril--so when you finally encounter scary things, you're scared of 'em! This is just the thing you want in a survival horror game.

This game is thoroughly grounded in realism. The medical jargon is convincing, and state of the hospital (and the story it tells) rings very true. My hat's off to the author, though, for a scene in one of the elevators--one of my very favorite parts: (Spoiler - click to show)In one elevator, you pick up an emergency phone--AND IT WORKS. Major kudos to her for this part; without it, I think a lot of the realism would have been lost.

However, like ONE EYE OPEN, I feel like DIVIS suffers just a touch from a tone problem: on occasion the player character shows some snark/humor that feels a little too funny for the dire occasion. It doesn't bother me any more or less than it did in ONE EYE OPEN, but in EYE I felt like the game could get away with it a little more, since it overall was a more quirky setting (flesh. eating. washing. machine. That is all.).

DIVIS has such a cohesive feeling of isolation and caution, the one-liners felt out of place--perhaps the author didn't think her setting would be enough to hold the player's interest? If the PC had been played completely straight I think we might have gotten an extra taste of horror. I even wish it ended on a more serious or personal note than it did.

My other issues with DIVIS can hopefully be seen as compliments. First, I wish it were longer! Second, I wish there were a few more puzzles, or maybe more zombie-interaction puzzles (distracting a zombie, or really sneaking by some, perhaps?). It sounds like the author isn't a programmer by trade, so I can completely understand why the puzzles aren't too complex. The environment makes up for these shortcomings, though.

With its short-to-midsized length and reasonable puzzles, this game might have been relegated to the "Play in one evening" category--though an exceptional one due to the thought put into the setting. However! The ending really adds to the replay value.

In short: Horror buff? Zombie fan? Scenery hound? PLAY IT!

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