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Big Trouble in Little Dino Park, by Seth Paxton, Rachel Aubertin

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fun story, several bugs, a guess-the-solution game, December 1, 2020
by Denk
Related reviews: Ink

This game made in Ink has a short but well-written fun story. It is definitely a game, not just a story since there are many ways to die. There is a sort of Undo feature ("Try again") if you die. Once you complete the game you are told how many times you died and how many people you saved. A nice touch I think. In theory, it should be possible to save 4 people it seems. However, I only managed to save 2 people. So there is definitely a game element.

Unfortunately, it has several bugs. Sometimes a choice made the game freeze. At other times I ended up in a situation with no choices so I couldn't proceed. I got the impression that the game was more stable if I closed the window each time I wanted to restart the game. A drawback of this approach is that the game then cannot count how many times I died. Perhaps it was just certain choices that made the game freeze.

Another problem is the choice-based equivalent to "Guess-the-verb" in parser games, which I call "Guess-the-solution". That is, to complete the game you just must guess the right choices when there is no way you can predict what is the right choice. And then you must memorize your previous choices so you know what to do and what not to do next time you play.

That isn't necessarily bad, it is just that choice-based games have come a long way since the early days with choices such as "Do you want to go left or right?", which is only a matter of guessing and remembering your previous playthrough. This game gives more interesting choices than "Left or Right?" but roughly, it is the same thing as the old CYOA books.

Still, if the bugs were fixed I might have given one or two more stars, depending on how well the parts of the story I couldn't get to were written. I hope the author makes a bug-fixed post-comp version. Then I would probably play again.

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