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Book and Volume

by Nick Montfort

Science Fiction
2005

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Number of Reviews: 5
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A Mind Still Voyaging, March 19, 2012
by Jonathan Blask (Milwaukee, WI, USA)
It is easy for me to put down a game after reading its intro, especially if it seems like the game is going to require an above-average amount of concentration. There was something about Nick Montfortís Book and Volume that met this requirement. In retrospect, I have no idea what prompted this reaction. Just the same, it wasnít until years later, when ClubFloyd got around to playing it, that I found out that was a big mistake. This is a very fun game.

Whatever worries I had going in were unfounded. If I had thought the game seemed gadget-heavy, everything is pretty easy to use. If the tech-guy-working-for-generic-yet-weirdly-named-tech-company premise worried me, BnV doesnít use that as a passport to a bland, old school adventure (as some games have). If the early prospect of street mapping worried me, mapping isnít necessary but becomes quite enjoyable once one gets far enough into the game and really wants to know the city.

And yes, I did say ďstreet mapping.Ē The city feel is very much like one gets while wandering Rockvil in A Mind Forever Voyaging. BnVís city is a bit smaller, and all of the main streets keep to a clean grid design, with only the occasional diagonal shortcut between blocks.

In fact, while the overall plot is nothing alike, Iíd say playing BnV is the closest anyone is going to get to feeling like he or she is playing a new AMFV. Exploring and getting to know the city is its own reward. In fact, there are several off-the-beaten-main-quest-path things to do in the game that are fun to play with.

Some objects arenít entirely clear. For instance, there are several kiosks in the game, and I donít think it is adequately conveyed that they are electronic kiosks that need to be >TOUCHed. Also, there are sometimes enlightening responses hidden in somewhat inane actions, which is a little unfair to players who donít happen upon them.

Plot-wise, I donít want to say too much, for fear of spoiling anything, but the writing is good and itís a nice ride. Even at its fullest disclosure, BnVís plot and motivations are intentionally mysterious, which suits me fine. As it is, it gives BnV the feeling that the game world has more stories to be told and even more mysteries to unleash, if only in the playerís mind.

Comments on this review

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Andromache, December 26, 2012 - Reply
(Spoiler - click to show)Hmmm. So you mean "Use kiosk" doesn't work? That's the command I input and always got error messages. I will try your suggestion and see what happens.
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