Reviews by AKheon

Dialog

View this member's profile

Show ratings only | both reviews and ratings
View this member's reviews by tag: ADRIFT adult choice-based comedy Dialog drama educational experimental fantasy horror humor IF Comp 1995 IF Comp 1997 IF Comp 2003 IF Comp 2008 IF Comp 2011 IF Comp 2016 IF Comp 2019 IF Comp 2020 Inform Ink mystery parser-based surreal TADS Twine Unity wordplay
...or see all reviews by this member
1-1 of 1


The Impossible Bottle, by Linus Ňkesson

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Intricately realized puzzling, December 2, 2020
by AKheon (Finland)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2020, parser-based, Dialog

The Impossible Bottle is a parser-based game by Linus Ňkesson, published in 2020. In it, you play as a six-year old girl who has to clean up and help do other chores around the house. Things are complicated by the fact that (Spoiler - click to show)she and her family seem to live inside a fractal arrangement of doll houses. Or maybe itís all just the power of the girlís imagination?

The gameplay is all about puzzles. The core mechanics here are really clever, supported by a well-designed and responsive world that encourages (and demands) experimentation. I was a bit frustrated by (Spoiler - click to show)how chronically helpless Dad is, but I guess most games wouldnít exist if everyone else in the game world were more competent than the player.

The writing is efficient. The tone is sometimes ordinary, sometimes imaginative and whimsical. It does its job without wasting words.

The game has three clearly defined acts, but it still feels like a loosely structured ďsandboxĒ puzzle game at heart. The drawback with this approach is that the gameplay can feel a bit uneven. I solved some puzzles before even realizing they were puzzles, and then, at other times, didnít have the slightest idea on how to even begin accomplishing some task. Some random or timed events can also add to the confusion.

The way the game is playable either parser-based or choice-based is a nice and unique touch. I played the online version and thought the presentation was all around smooth.

The Impossible Bottle is an impressive puzzle game that makes me interested in the potential of Dialog. Even though my playthrough had some small snags and confusing moments, itís probably nothing that canít be fixed in a post-comp version. Itís fundamentally a solid title that does some unique things, and itís simply fun to mess around with.



1-1 of 1