Reviews by Kake
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View this member's reviews by tag: * ** *** **** ***** Aaron Reed Adam Biltcliffe Adam Cadre Admiral Jota Alan DeNiro Alessandro Peretti Andrew Plotkin C. E. Forman Carl Muckenhoupt Christopher Huang Cody Sandifer Dan Schmidt Dan Shiovitz Dark Star David Cornelson David Dyte David Fisher didn't finish Emily Short Graeme Cree Gunther Schmidl half sick of shadows Iain Merrick IF Competition 2007 J. Robinson Wheeler Jeffrey MacArthur John Cater Jon Blask Joseph Grzesiak Juhana Leinonen Kalev Tait Liza Daly Matt Barringer Ola Sverre Bauge One-Room Game Competition 2007 One-Room Game Competition 2008 Paolo Maroncelli Peter Mattsson revgiblet Richard Otter Rob Noyes Robert Street Ryan Stevens Sam Barlow Sam Gordon Sara Brookside speed IF Stephen Bond Stephen Granade Steve Bernard Stuart Moore
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Related reviews: **, One-Room Game Competition 2008, Paolo Maroncelli, Alessandro Peretti
I had very high hopes for this one - the "packaging" looked smooth and polished, and despite a few typos in the scene-setting exposition, the quality of the writing initially seemed pretty good.
Unfortunately I couldn't solve a single one of the puzzles, and there were no in-game hints, either from an actual hint system or from responses to almost-right commands. I got through to the end by means of struggling for a while, peeping at the next few lines of the walkthrough, wondering how on earth anyone could possibly have come up with that solution unprompted, and then starting the cycle over again for the next puzzle.
After the first few go-rounds of this rather boring process, I lost all confidence that the remaining puzzles would be fair; the only thing that kept me going to the end was the thought that it would be unfair to give it a score before I'd finished it.
On the plus side, the plot's more interesting than the usual "get out of the room" one, and there's a definite sense of humour in some of the text (though it would really benefit from a going-over by a native speaker).
As a game, though, this completely failed for me.
This is the first Rybread game I've played; it seems to be the kind of thing that usually gets described as "unique" and "like being on drugs". But it isn't unique, really; it's just the same old kind of thing that tends to result from the misconception that random absurdity is the same thing as creativity.
It did start quite promisingly:
Womb with a view
This is a room. You feel very comfortable here. Its got lots of space. But you feel a need for something more, something to fulfill your life. You can go north.
No you can't, I lied. Try west.
Now I thought that was funny — and there were a few other genuinely amusing moments in the game too, but a lot of it was just tedious. I found the "interview excerpts" particularly tedious; page-long infodumps with the tired premise of taking absurd things seriously.
(I do realise that this game is nearly a decade old as I write this, but I'm sure this kind of thing was pretty old even then.)
If you want to see "weird" done well, I'd recommend you try Deadline Enchanter instead.
I only played this because I'd heard you need to play it in order to enjoy Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle. It turns out you don't. If you like one-joke games, play this; if you don't, don't.
I'm afraid I really didn't like this game. It's very puzzle-based, but the puzzles aren't IF-like puzzles; as far as I could make out, they're riddles and word games and number puzzles. Although I managed to find plenty of objects and clues, I couldn't figure out how to solve any of them (bar the weighing machine puzzle, which just gave me another incomprehensible clue as a reward).
When I was pondering what star rating to give this game, I decided that if I was rating it on how enjoyable I found it, it would barely get two stars. I nearly decided to give it three, because I didn't think it was really fair to vote the game down just because I'm too stupid to get anywhere with it, but then I figured I was overthinking it. So it gets two stars. This doesn't mean there's anything significantly wrong with the implementation; it just means I never ever want to play this game (or anything like it) again.
This is a parody of Matt Barringer's Detective, a game famous for being really, really bad.
It might be because I'm not American, and have never watched Mystery Science Theatre 3000, but I just found this kind of boring. I didn't think anything the commentators said was particularly witty or amusing, and I had to force myself to persist to the end — a problem I didn't have with the original game they're making fun of!
Although this game is famous for being really, really bad, I did kind of like it. Knowing that it was written by a twelve-year-old kid did help, mind. I think what I liked most about it was the energy and sheer gung-ho of it — although the plot makes pretty much no sense at all, you definitely get the impression that the author found it tremendously exciting, and it almost doesn't matter that nobody else would feel the same. In a game written by an adult, this would be kind of embarrassing. In a game written by a pre-teen, it's not at all inappropriate. I honestly don't think that I'd be embarrassed to have written this game as a kid.
Although there are some very good ideas behind this game, it had far too many technical issues for me to continue playing it.
First of all, I was put off by the quality of the writing. I haven't seen any other reviewers bringing this up — and one or two have actually said they thought the prose was good! So maybe my standards are too high, but I felt the writing was stilted, unpolished, and entirely lacking in any kind of style. (I did actually wonder whether it had been written by a precocious child or a very young teenager, but apparently the author is in his mid-twenties.)
Mainly, though, I didn't get very far through because I gave up in disgust when I discovered (from the walkthrough) that something the parser had been refusing to let me interact with — or even look at — was in fact vital to further progress. This wasn't an isolated problem, just the most egregious example. I'm not going to spend time playing a game that I can't trust to be fair with me.
A very, very brief playing experience, but it did make me laugh. (Though the laugh was about 50% groan.)
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