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Nominee, Best Writing - 1996 XYZZY Awards
10th Place - 2nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1996)
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
[...] The atmosphere created by spending most of the adventure in the dark is moderately effective, but the use of other senses is too limited to do the situation justice. [...] (John Wood)
[...] I liked "Aayela," don't get me wrong. I simply didn't find it as clever as Magnus' previous work, particularly when compared with so many other outstanding entries this year. (C.E. Forman)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Exploring a cave in the dark could be very interesting, but Aayela fails to do its premise justice: not only is the cave exceedingly small, but there is in fact little difference between this game and a game where you explore a cave with light. You do not have to guess the identity of objects from their form, smell, taste or sound -- feeling something will always identify it for you. From the point of view of the player, typing "examine" and typing "feel" is not much of a difference. You do have to discover some things by feeling around, but these quasi-puzzles are familiar from other games where you have to feel under or in things.
What remains is an enjoyable little tale with different endings depending on a choice the character can make at the end. Olsson writes good, if perhaps somewhat overblown, prose, and the final scene is much more memorable than the cave itself. So, as a snack sized diversion, Aayela is certainly worth playing; but much more could have been done with it.
You are searching for a magical crystal in an underground cavern. The rest of the story is mainly atmosphere, and it works well. This game was nominated for an XYZZY for best writing, and deserves it.
Overall, a short, simple game, with at least 3 endings depending on your final actions.
Recommended for its fun-to-length ratio.
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PollsThe following polls include votes for Aayela:
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