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Return to Ditch Day

by M.J. Roberts profile


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Number of Ratings: 25
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- Stian, March 7, 2019

- Spike, April 17, 2017

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), January 2, 2017

- HL, February 26, 2016

An utterly remarkable game; solve crazy puzzles and learn about engineering, February 3, 2016

by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours
I'll be upfront and say that, by modern standards, I wasn't impressed with the original Ditch Day Drifter. This sequel, however blows my mind.

The introduction is especially good. Reminding me of the hidden temple sequence in Lydia's Heart, you have to race another tech firm to pitch a product to a southeast asian company. You have to deal with both fidgety technology and a decaying factory.

The game then makes a huge transition to Caltech, scene of the original Ditch Day Drifter. As then, you must explore the campus, solving stacks, reading memos, going in the tunnels, going to the store and kitchen.

But boy, the world has changed! Crowds of independent NPCs, immersive room descriptions, real conversations, etc.

The game has a fairly unique premise: your character must learn (or relearn) about physics and engineering to crack the code on a high-tech box. Puzzles are drawn from real-life techniques, and you learn a lot; however, the game is adapted for those with no real-life experience. You convert IP addresses to hex form and back; you learn about quantum coherence and decoherence; you learn how to use network analyzers and even cherry pickers.

I enjoyed the beginning more than the rest of the game, but that's because open nonlinear games often intimidate me.

I recommend this game for everyone. Even if you're not great at IT, like me, the game treats it like any other 'magic system', telling you how to use things. It's fun.

- kala (Finland), May 20, 2015

One of my Favourites Ever..., June 30, 2013

by Tristano (Italy)
This game is one of my all-times favourites. The plot is simple, the atmosphere relaxed, the prose capturing. It's quite a long game, but since it's packed with puzzles there are no dead times in the game.

If you like big maps, Return to Ditch Day offers a generous environment. And, if you are a puzzles lover, you'll find planty of puzzles in this game some minor, others more intricate.

Surely, it's more puzzle oriented than plot-oriented, yet the well polished prose and mechanics grab the player's attention, fix the plot in the mind and keep the game pace alive.

A game that won't let down lovers of classic IF.

- MKrone (Harsleben), February 18, 2012

- amciek (Opole), December 18, 2011

- Nikos Chantziaras (Greece), August 22, 2011

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), July 27, 2011

- Walter Sandsquish, February 2, 2011

- Mastodon, March 26, 2009

- Catherine Daze, February 14, 2009

- Shigosei, February 7, 2009

- schifter (Louisville, KY), August 17, 2008

- googoogjoob, August 4, 2008

- Timo Saarinen (Finland), February 28, 2008

- Michel Nizette (Brussels, Belgium), January 17, 2008

- Emily Boegheim, January 13, 2008

- VK, November 26, 2007

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Return to Mike Roberts, November 22, 2007
by puzzler (Everett, Washington)
I particularly enjoy Michael J. Roberts' games, so I was pleased to see he had released a new game. This game serves as a showpiece for what TADS 3 can do. For example, TADS 3 has a new conversation system that is exceptionally well thought out. The game is filled with rich and interesting puzzles, but because of its "showcase" nature, there are some elements that are more tedious than fun (lots of consulting various things about various topics, an elevator, lots of locked doors to show off the key ring functionality).

My only negative comment about the game is that the plot feels, well, rather geeky. Overall, I enjoyed this game quite a bit, but because of its many math, science, and tech puzzles I wouldn't recommend it to the average player. You don't really need to know much about math, science, and tech to solve the puzzles (your character refreshes his memory by consulting various references in the game) but you will enjoy the game more if you like these topics.

- Michael R. Bacon (New Mexico), October 22, 2007

- Emily Short, October 22, 2007

- Eric Eve (Oxford, England), October 21, 2007

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