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Arrival, or Attack of the B-Movie Clichés, by Stephen Granade

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Lots of Tongue-in-Cheek Fun, March 2, 2013
by Metz77 (Massachusetts, USA)
Related reviews: ****

Granade has put together a wonderful pastiche that crosses elements of an Ed Wood film and a young boy's English class writing assignment. Two ridiculous aliens (made of modeling clay in the game's illustrations) land their spaceship (two pie plates taped together) in your backyard. They decide that you, an eight-year-old child, are Earth's ambassador. From there, you explore a crudely (but appealingly) crayon-illustrated world in your attempts to thwart their invasion while seeming to meet their demands.

As long as you're careful to explore everywhere, the puzzles are mostly fairly easy, befitting a game with a child protagonist. There is one puzzle that requires a bit of save-and-restore trial-and-error to time correctly, but in his afterword Granade cops to its unfairness, so props for that.

The game is well-coded in HTML TADS and uses the system's capabilities to good effect, with frequently-appearing graphics and occasional midi tunes composed by Granade himself. Many objects are given interactions with verbs one wouldn't expect, to delightful effect.

One thing that irked me -- and this may simply be a problem with the system, not the game -- is that the world stops entirely with the wait command. It is possible to listen in on several background conversations between the aliens, and not being able to just hit "z" to listen in broke my immersion a little bit.

All in all, though, Arrival is a terrific little romp that shouldn't be missed.

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