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by Matt Wigdahl profile


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Number of Reviews: 6
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Like Jurassic Park with nicer dinosaurs, set in Maori culture. Well-polished, February 3, 2016
Aotearoa won first place both in the 2010 IFComp and later the XYZZY Awards, where it swept Best Game, Best Setting, Best Puzzles, Best NPCs, Best Individual Puzzle, Best Implementation, Best Use of Innovation.

Given all the awards, to me, it was just a very well-thought out mid-length scenario. It was a fun diversion, that gives the feel of a massive world but really being a ride-on-the-rails for the most part. It gives you the feel of having solved a very difficult puzzle on your own.

As you are immediately told, the game is set in an alternate world where dinosaurs survived in New Zealand and were instrumental in New Zealand resisting the British conquest. You are a young visitor to the island, and must explore it while working with and against others. There are numerous NPCs.

To me, the game is excellent, and would make a good introduction for someone new to IF or a good , well-crafted diversion for an experienced player.

But it doesn't have lasting power, in my opinion. For instance, it was voted in the 2012 Best IF of all Time, but not in the 2015. To me, the most memorable part is the exposure to Maori language and culture (although I don't know how much is real and how much is story, but it's beautiful in any case).