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About the StoryThe glitterings of Gold, Jewels, Tapestries, &c. belie the Corruption of he who 'til recently occupied this high Seat. A white Carpet, once flanked by Sycophants & Counsellors, now lies untravelled. It leads away from the Seat & towards the Sunrise.
The cruel Baron lies at your feet, dyeing the carpet scarlet with his blood.
Nominee, Best Puzzles - 2001 XYZZY Awards
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
The puzzles aren't especially exciting--there are only a few of them, and reading the manuals you find is essentially all you need to do--but there's lots of fun to be had in the writing. Much of it is mock-Elizabethan or thereabouts--lots of Surprising Capitalizations, for one thing, often put to amusing purposes. [...]
As mentioned, there's a trick of sorts in the game, on which I won't elaborate here. It's not a total success; some players, I know, thought it was a bug, which it most certainly isn't. There are indications that something's afoot well before the trick happens, though they depend to some extent, I think, on whether the player's moving around--fewer, if any, of the clues would be apparent to a player who's staying in one room working on a puzzle.
-- Duncan Stevens
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Saying anything else about this game's plot threatens to ruin the core mechanic, which gradually reveals itself as you attempt to explore the castle. It's clever, but it's also a tad irritating. As the game closes in around you, your options diminish. This means it's very easy to waste time at the beginning, examining objects and rooms and whatnot, before you even realize that you're wasting time. When you do realize what's happening, it's probably too late.
The outcome leaves me conflicted. It's necessary to go into the game without preconceptions in order to get the most from the experience. However, this means that it will also likely punish you a few times until you learn to economize your puzzle-solving. The "optimal" good ending is also not as rewarding as the "normal" good ending, as though, after you've solved everything, the game is in a hurry to tidy up.
Nevertheless, it's well worth playing for the writing, mood, light humor, and the overall concept. Just be prepared to undo or restart.
The main attraction of the game is the nature of the curse, which messes with IF conventions.(Spoiler - click to show)As the game progresses, room descriptions and objects become less and less implemented, until each room is just a number with nothing in it.
Its merit is in the quality of the gimmick's implementation. There isn't any point in playung the game, unless you're having trouble understanding the source.
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