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About the StoryEunice is a shadow of its former glory. Hope is lost, just a faint mem-ory Whatever might have brought you here, That Eunice needs you, it is clear. Type out simple commands, and Notice the changes in Eunice land. Odd creatures and strange places require your aid. You'll get as much out as the efforts you made.
59th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)
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In terms of the story, youíre in the land of Eunice, where everything is in a state of neglect. In order to win the game, you have to perform, as the PC, acts of gratitude, connection, mindfulness, and flexibility in order to release hope and heal the land. The game world and characters arenít deeply fleshed out, but thatís the intent: Everything is supposed to be understood metaphorically. For example, in one location you (Spoiler - click to show)encounter a group of people frozen as statues. To free them, you must LOOSEN YOUR LIMBS, thereby demonstrating flexibility.
I think the metaphors could be a little tighter, but overall I think they do work.
The solutions to some of the puzzles require unusual verbs, as in the example I just gave. However, the text (with one exception, given below) always tells you exactly what the right phrasing is; you just have to pay careful attention. For example, in the scenario described above, if you first (Spoiler - click to show)EXAMINE STATUES, the response includes the sentence "Looking at them life-like and lifeless, frozen in various pretzel positions, makes you want to loosen your limbs."
This is a good way to incorporate atypical verbs in your game without introducing awful guess-the-verb problems.
There was only one puzzle I really had trouble with, (Spoiler - click to show)unfreezing the troll. If there was a clue in the text for the right approach to solving this puzzle, I missed it.
Overall, how well does Eunice succeed? As a pure parser game, it would be more fun with more attention to some details: stronger puzzles with better cluing, setting and characters that are more richly described, directions the player can travel to in each location mentioned in the location descriptions, and corrections to several punctuation mistakes.
But, again, Euniceís goal isnít to be the latest and greatest parser game. Rather, itís to get these psychology concepts in peopleís heads. How well does it succeed at that? The answer probably depends on the player. In general, though, interacting with a concept is going to make you remember it far more easily than if you just read about it or hear someone explain it. For myself, I think the concepts would stick with me better if (as I mentioned earlier) the metaphor choices were somewhat stronger. But I do think the value of gratitude, of connection, of mindfulness, of flexibility, and of hope will remain with me more now that Iíve played Eunice.
You play in a metaphorical and dreamlike world, with trolls in houses and random cookware scattered everywhere.
The therapy occurs in the gameplay: you are told relaxation techniques and other tips, asked to exercise them in-game, and generally work on laughter, dance, happiness and fixing things.
This game has a lot of implementation trouble, both with guess-the-verb and unclear instructions. This gets in the way of the relaxation experience, and makes me less likely to play again in the future.
If you enjoyed Eunice...
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This is version 3 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 27 April 2019 at 8:15am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item