Reviews by Kake

One-Room Game Competition 2008

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1-3 of 3

The Moon Watch, by Paolo Maroncelli and Alessandro Peretti

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting plotting, but unfair puzzles, November 25, 2008

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.

Escapade!, by Juhana Leinonen

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Great potential let down by the implementation, November 25, 2008
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: ***, One-Room Game Competition 2008, Juhana Leinonen

All you have to do, as the bumbling sidekick of the gorgeous, muscular Captain McBrawn, is find the World President and warn him of an impending attack - but before you can even get started, you're captured by the Screaming Communists and dumped into a locked, barred room high up in a tower in a mediaeval castle. Unsurprisingly, your task is to get out - though this task isn't actually as simple or as trite as it might sound.

It took me a little while to get started on this one, mainly because of "guess the verb" problems - and these problems persisted throughout the game, making it harder, more frustrating, and less fun than it really needed to be. A little fleshing-out of the rather sparse descriptions of some of the items might have helped too.

The hint system also broke down at one point, giving me the same hint over and over again for a problem that I'd already solved, so I eventually had to resort to the walkthrough.

I didn't really enjoy this game, and that's basically down to the implementation. The constant "you can't do that" stuff made it really frustrating to play - so frustrating that I don't want to play it again to find the optional bits that I missed. This is a real shame; it could be so much better. I do hope the author makes a second release that addresses these issues, since there's a good game in here struggling to get out.

Bad Toast, by Jeffrey MacArthur

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Very little substance, November 25, 2008
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Jeffrey MacArthur, One-Room Game Competition 2008, *

Bad Toast is essentially a puzzle game with a bolted-on and entirely irrelevant backstory. The title refers to a "toast" you made at a dinner party the night before - apparently your host took it the wrong way, since you've woken up in a dungeon.

Your task, obviously, is to escape. You do this by solving a single, very easy puzzle, and once you've done that the game essentially just stops. I gave it a second play-through, deliberately getting the puzzle solution wrong, and discovered that the solution is hardcoded (though it could have been randomised without too much trouble) and as soon as you make one wrong move the game is immediately over, so even if the puzzle was nontrivial you could solve it relatively quickly by trial and error alone.

There's pretty much no attempt to implement anything other than the five switches needed to solve the puzzle. There's very little of substance here at all, in fact. The best thing I can say about this game is that the spelling and grammar were mostly OK.

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