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Google Forms

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The Kuolema, by Ben Jackson

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent use of a primitive system, April 12, 2023
by Denk
Related reviews: Google Forms

Brief description: Awesome story in a primitive system - done very well!

From an IF viewpoint Google Forms is very primitive as it apparently can't store information in variables - at least that is my understanding from the author's design choices. Nor can you save your progress except for the text you have entered along the way is remembered by Google if you ever logged in. To account for this, the game is designed such that if you note down keycard codes, objects found etc. you can skip big parts of the game when you restart. In addition you can go to part II and III with links near the beginning in case you have already played part I and maybe part II. In practice this works very well.

The game is a sort of thriller mystery and starts out well with perhaps a common theme (well, it is very hard nowadays to come up with something completely new): An abandoned ship is found adrift and you will land on the deck to investigate...

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: N/A)
No parser. However, several puzzles are parser-like as you have to type the right keyword so that the solution is not given away through visible choices.

Atmosphere (Rating: 9/10)
The game starts out good but the atmosphere and tension increases in part III. Really good! First parts 8/10 in atmosphere, last part 10/10.

Cruelty (Rating: Merciful)
You can never ruin you chance of success and if you die there is a sort of "undo" (often named "rewind")

Puzzles (Rating: 8/10)
Interesting and fun puzzles, some easy and a lot medium. There were a few I wasn't very fond of: Solving a complete crossword was too hard for me as English is not my mother tongue. Luckily, the embedded walkthrough provides the full solution to it. Also, a couple of puzzles required knowledge which many would probably need to solve via the internet, which is not in line with the plot as there is no internet connection available. (Spoiler - click to show)I am thinking of translating Russian and the city in the picture I could not recognize.

Overall (Rating: 9/10)
Starts out good and the final part is just excellent with some psychological themes that fits well into the story.

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