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Amnesia, by Dustin Rhodes

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Amnesia: you'll wish you could wipe it from your memory., November 7, 2017
by turthalion (Winnipeg)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2003

I just can't muster up the heartlessness to dissect and review this game as it really deserves, but my goodness it's bad.

When a game begins with 4 spelling mistakes in the opening location, it doesn't bode well. I don't get overly violent about the odd typographical error, but most of the spelling in this game seems like the author's primary goal was to throw in all the right letters, and not worry about placement. How come people can spell "amnesia", but not "author"?

In "about the auther" [sic], the author mentions reading the Discworld series. How can people read and comprehend books if they don't understand how to use "they're" and "their" ? This blurb also mentions that the author is in high school, expecting sympathy on the score on that... er... score. This might excuse the amateurish feel of the game, plot, or puzzles, but not the spelling.

And it's not simply a case of not knowing the right way to spell. The volcano room has the following:

There is even a stream of lava flowing by. To the west is another room of the volcano.
Their is also a passage to the north.

So in the space of three sentences, "there" is used the right way, followed by the wrong way. It's almost as if the author is just using whichever one suits him, regardless of correctness.

Speaking of the volcano, though the stream of lava was mentioned, 'x lava' and 'x stream' didn't produce anything meaningful. 'x stream' resulted in "I don't know the word stream", while 'x lava' produced the more blatant lie of "I don't see any lava here.", in spite of its having just been mentioned. Rather a pity, as I was hoping to be able to jump in, and end the pain.

I also really like when my volcanos come with separate distinct rooms.

Many of the locations in this game were also blissfully free of the encumbrances of compass directions, leaving the player to try directions at random until one worked.

When I reached the sewers guild, I found out that I could "[g]ive them something and they will sow it." If only there were any seeds of a reasonable game around, perhaps they could sow those for me, and we could reap a better harvest.

The first time through the game, when I reached the cave, and saw the note on the pedestal, and read the words "now don't feel like you are being gept", I had absolutely zero idea what this meant. I have just realised, looking at it again, it must mean gypped.

I have other questions, such as, if I use the flaming branch to get through the jungle, why is the cave beyond pitch black? Doesn't the branch help to light my way? But it, like the logic of this world, has vanished without trace.

I had a fine time dropping and picking up the flashlight, to be rewarded with 10 points every time. Likewise with a number of other point-scoring actions.

I did manage to finish the game, in spite of the disambiguation problems with the cloth and the sail, to wit:

You can see a cloth and a sail here.

>get sail
Which sail do you mean, the cloth, or the sail?

All right, I guess it's the cloth then. After moving the cloth to another location, I was able to pick up the sail and leave the island that way, winning the game with the flashlight-fortified score of 200 points out of 100.

In some sort of bizarre self-punishment mental vice, I opted to go back and try the cloth instead of the sail, as the walkthrough talked about mending the cloth in the sewers guild. However, all attempts to talk the guild into fixing the cloth were fruitless, and I decided to give up and leave.

At this point, the guild members grabbed the sail and fixed it for me. Great, that's fine. Then I tried to leave the guild again. And again. And again, as the guild kindly continued to fix the sail for me, gaining me points every time.

If authors provide a walkthrough, they need to make sure that the walkthrough in question will successfully walk the player through the game... otherwise, there's very little point having it.

Author Encouragement:
Thank you for not starting in a bedroom!

Put more effort into the spelling, or failing that, have your game checked by someone who knows how to spell. I find it very difficult to take a game seriously when it has so many spelling mistakes. When the stuff you're showing to the player is so rife with errors, it makes me wonder about the mistakes going on behind the scenes, and leaves me apprehensive about what major guess-the-verb puzzles or gameplay bugs I may have to contend with.

Your piece is a parody of IF in some regards, at least in terms of the clichéd elements that abound, and the self-deprecating humour which is apparent. That's all very well, but parody usually involves imitating a style for comic effect, whereas yours simply includes clichéd elements, and then proceeds to draw attention to them in a heavy-handed manner. This does not parody make, at least not in my book. You need to do more with what you've included than simply throwing it all together.

On the other hand, I've just checked Webster's, and the second definition of parody included there is "a feeble or ridiculous imitation", a definition which Amnesia, in its present form, may fulfil.

It's hard to know what encouragement to offer, as Amnesia has little about it that is worth encouraging, I'm afraid to say. About the best advice I can offer is: try again, with beta testers. Listen to them. And if you provide a walkthrough with your game, run through it before you release the game.

Scoring:
W: 0
The writing is absolutely terrible in every aspect. Appalling spelling and grammar, no plot or story to think of, zero character development, painful to play.

A: 0
This game had no redeeming features in terms of gameplay. From the second room on, I had no desire to play the game at all, let alone to completion. I could just sense how much of a pain it was going to be. And I was right.

B: 1
Horribly buggy. Walkthrough as given gets you into a situation where a bug prevents you from not only completing the game, but also from leaving the sewers guild ever again.

E: 1
No fun at all from beginning to end, but at least it's still an IF game.


Sweet Dreams, by Papillon

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
It's cute, but is it IF?, November 7, 2017
by turthalion (Winnipeg)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2003

Without wanting to get into a huge debate over whether this is truly IF or not, I'll say right off the bat that I struggled to rate it.

Now that that's out of the way, I found it took far too long to walk anywhere on the map, the game was way too small on my screen and couldn't be resized, and I also hated dragging the mouse slowly over every inch of the background to figure out what was significant and what was not. This, for me, is the graphical equivalent of burying important items in the location description.


Rape, Pillage, Galore!, by Kristian Kirsfeldt

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fiction it may be, but interactive it is not., November 7, 2017
by turthalion (Winnipeg)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2003

This is really a series of brief anecdotes, loosely disguised as an
interactive fiction game.

As such, I'm torn between giving it a 1 or refusing to rate it.


Kingdom of Amphibia: The Shipwreck, by Radical Al
turthalion's Rating:


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