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About the StoryA tornadic storm brews outside an economically faltering town in the Great Plains as a traveling outsider attempts to unravel the town's mysteries. This is Chapter Zero (of 8). Further chapters will be released episodically as they are completed. An earlier version of this chapter was awarded second place in IntroComp 2008.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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As other reviewers have said, this game is of such high quality that it's a shame it was never expanded from this solid introductory chapter into a complete adventure. I had a feeling it might be good as early as the content warning screen, which seems to channel the introductory warnings of console-based survival horror games. In turn, I felt the positive influence of the Playstation's Silent Hill strongly throughout.
The prose is clear, measured out perfectly to breed suspense and sprinkled with dynamic atmospheric elaborations. The transitional lines of text describing your passage from one location to another are a neat touch. The puzzles are mostly about portals and blockades, doors and keys, and the yearning to find a way into each room is a strong motivator. My guess is that had more chapters of the game been created, the puzzles would have become more novel. This first chapter is about establishing access to the motel and setting the scene. It also demonstrates a smart and comprehensive parser.
Storm Cellar gave me real chills more than once and its horror elements are expertly wrangled. Usually I'm not interested in incomplete games, but as Storm Cellar is a veteran of Introcomp 2008, what exists of it is entirely functional. It also ends at a dramatically satisfying point (I.E. not just while you're walking down a hallway or something.) The game was ambitiously touted by its author as chapter zero of a pending eight, but it ended up being the only one. You should definitely play it if you like suspenseful horror.
P.S. There's no mention of the title Chapter Zero: Welcome to Cicada Creek in the game itself, only of Storm Cellar, but the author used the former title when he created the game's entry on IFDB.
I wish the other chapters were completed, November 7, 2013
It's truly a shame these weren't completed as I really want to see what happens next. Only reason I gave it four stars is because it is very short and though I want more, I'm left hanging.
Nice job, perhaps the author will come back someday and finish this series.
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This is version 9 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 7 October 2012 at 8:34am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item