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Absence of Law

by mathbrush profile

Science Fiction

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Number of Ratings: 25
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- leycec, November 5, 2019

- elias67, October 14, 2019

- piearty (New York), June 20, 2019

- Jacoder23, May 7, 2019

- Zape, March 23, 2019

- JoQsh, January 21, 2019

- Laney Berry, September 28, 2018

- IanAllenBird, September 23, 2018

- Sobol (Russia), May 28, 2018

- dgtziea, May 9, 2018

- DocDoe, May 3, 2018

- Storysmash, April 13, 2018

- Stas, March 30, 2018

- Xavid, November 17, 2017

- tekket (Česká Lípa, Czech Republic), November 17, 2017

- Karl Ove Hufthammer (Bergen, Norway), November 17, 2017

- Spike, November 16, 2017

Review: Absence of Law
This is an ambitious work: multiple levels of interaction, several shifts in player POV, lots of rooms, NPCs, and puzzles. Despite its size, it has been meticulously proofed and tested...

With everything packed into this game, it is amazing that it played as well as it did, and speaks of time spent on making sure that puzzles were clued and objectives clear, both on the part of the author and play testers. I found a couple puzzles either finicky or laborious, but that could also reflect my own self-inflicted difficulties in how I approached them.

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A Colossal Adventure

In the ending acknowledgments, the author mentions that the puzzles are meant to be a sort of greatest hits of their favorite IF puzzles, which is definitely not a bad thing. There’s some well-executed classics here, like assembling parts of a language you don’t quite understand, mixed in with equally pleasing new tricks, like sorting a list of randomly generated objects into categories. Everything in the game is controlled through remote commands and viewed through cameras, which both puts a new spin on things as there’s no traditional inventory management, and eliminates guess-the-verb problems as all of your possible commands are easily listed at any time.

This is not just a puzzle game, though. The story holding it together is fairly slight, but entertaining and well written.

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- sushabye, November 7, 2017

- Pegbiter (Malmö, Sweden), November 5, 2017

- E.K., October 25, 2017

- namekuseijin (anywhere but home), October 20, 2017

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Blew me away, October 20, 2017
This was my first IF experience, and it blew me away. Very immersive, not too difficult, and, best of all, fun!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
How to constraint a parser and give 3 games for the price of 1, October 8, 2017
by Marco Innocenti (Florence, Italy)
Absence of Law (which title needs to be discussed, too), is a technically perfect game, where the player needs to use a custom command line to achieve extreme results. Most of the action is given through a set of three-letters custom-commands and by looking at nested things. The interface (in the online-playable version) is customized too, and offers music as a background, a thing that I've been missing since the days of Castle of Terror (in the Eighties!).

AoL is fun to play, hard and soft here and there, and also very nice to read. It's a story that needs to be told, while keeping all the puzzles that make IF such a fantastic trip, when done properly.

There are a few drawbacks, but those are minor and strictly personal, so they won't remove a single star from the overall rating.

The language puzzle, and partly the cloning puzzle, had me fear I had to drop the game. While the latter is just a matter of trial-and-error, the former proved too hard for me. Probably, the experience was ruined not by the puzzles themselves but by the lack of time for the IFComp scope and by the availability of a walkthrough, which I reverted to too easily.

The music was precious, but sometimes a bit off. I expected it to be ghastly and in Minor, while it too often sounded like merry jingles. This links to another problem (which I admit is only in my mind): much of the content is about dystopian concepts. Although the game is referred to as "comedy", I think the fun fest at the end broke the 4th wall to me. I would have preferred a grimmer closing.

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