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Shades of Gray

by Mark Baker, Steve Bauman, Belisana, Mike Laskey, Judith Pintar, Cindy Yans, and Hercules

Surreal/Historical
1992

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Reviews and Ratings

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Number of Ratings: 7
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1-7 of 7


A large and powerful game in an old, rusty parser system, June 5, 2017
This game is famous as a cooperation between 7 authors at a time when e-mail was new and difficult to use.

The real story of the game isn't even actually apparent until almost the end. The middle parts have quite a variety, from Robin Hood to an urban setting to McCarthyism to vampires.

The game took me over 1200 moves to finish. There are 1001 points you can obtain.

The AGT parser is old and bad. I'd rather even have a Scott Adams parser, because those games have a true simplicity; but in this game KNOCK DOOR and KNOCK ON DOOR give different responses, with only one working; TIE ROPE and TIE ROPE TO TREE give different responses, one working and one giving you a generic message. And so on... I only discovered later that you can type LIST EXITS, which would have been very useful.

The ending has a moral choice that many have described as seeming ambiguous, but with only one leading to a successful ending.

One of the best games available pre-Curses!

- Spike, February 26, 2017

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Eclectic, February 2, 2011
Much better than would be expected, considering that this game was designed by committee. On the one hand, it contains a few genuinely creepy moments, some clever puzzles and bits of evocative writing. On the other hand, it contains way too many disparate settings and the quality of the design, writing and implementation varies widely between the different story segments.

- tggdan3 (Michigan), March 30, 2010

- Grey (Italy), December 25, 2009

- zer, February 2, 2009

Baf's Guide


WARNING: High Tarot content.

An imaginative psychodrama of self-confrontation and moral dilemma, by way of Haiti, Sherwood Forest, and an American Civil War battlefield. One of the most intriguing storylines I've seen in any game. You wander the city streets, or possibly the castle grounds, with a sense of temporal dislocation and confused memories of vampires, until a friendly fortune-teller helps you put your head back together through a series of visions about your past and what it means to you. Written by seven strangers, the game is divided into self-contained segments of highly variable style, subject matter, and quality. This is at once the game's greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Just about everything you hate in games can be found here - mazes, time limits, obscure "guess-the-word" puzzles - but the flawed parts fit into the frame-tale so well, the effect is dazzling. Given a better parser and the removal of some of the more annoying puzzles, this one would easily rate five stars.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt


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