A game featuring zombies in the London underground might not seem original, but the first scene of the game is compelling. You take the role of Stacy, a mini-skirt-clad twenty year old, who's waiting for a train to arrive with a few of her friends. But when the train comes, it brings more than you'd bargained for- it's passengers are being attacked by a horde of zombies, each one eager to make a snack out of you. In the chase that ensues, you're knocked unconscious (but not eaten for some reason) and when you eventually come to, it's just you, alone, versus the zombie hordes.
The introduction was stong, well-written and set the standard for the rest of the story, but unfortunately, the rest of the game did not live up to that standard. I could see that the author was trying to give a Resident Evil-esque feel to the game, but it became obvious after a while that it was impossible to die and despite the fact that the game was touted as survival horror, it wasn't that scary and covering almost every location you visit in blood and gore didn't make it that way, either.
Plague: Redux turned out to be an appropriate title for the game because it's plagued with bugs from the very start; you can't read the introductory text at the beginning of the game (for some reason it just won't let you) and typing in the wrong command on the chase scene can leave you in a blank room with no description and no way out, rendering the game unwinnable. Others bugs include naming non-player characters before you've asked them their name or they've introduced themselves, and redundant choices to run away or fight the zombies you discover in a toilet cubicle.
Indeed, the quality of the game in general seemed to drop off considerably after the chase scene and not all of the problems with Plague: Redux can be put down to bugs; the characters and puzzles left much to be desired too, the latter being the biggest problem. If anarchy has broken out, why do I need to seach around in obscure locations looking for loose change to buy a bottle of water from a machine, when I should be able to just smash the machine with the metal bar I'm carrying and take it? Why do I need to bribe a survivor of the carnage with (Spoiler - click to show)cigarettes to get him to come with me? It's issues like this that leave the puzzles feeling contrived.
As a whole, Plague: Redux it isn't appalling, but even taking the better-than-average writing into account, it seems more like a work-in-progress than a completed game; most likely a casualty of the IF Comp deadline rush.
Your goal in this game is to steal a chalice from a museum to pay for your college course. The twist, however, is that the museum is in complete darkness and the night vision goggles you're wearing - for some unknown reason - (Spoiler - click to show)are showing you images of different rooms within the museum, so you've effectively got to feel your way around instead. It's nothing special, but it does seem to work once you've go the hang of what's going on; I didn't encounter any programming errors. Overall, Byzantine Perspective is a game worth playing if you've got a few minutes to spare.
Rating: 2 1/2 Stars
Poorly implemented 'troll' game whose only feature seems to be a maze. Nothing to recommend at all.
The Lighthouse is no doubt the authors' first game, as it's very basic and very, very short. The aim of the game is to switch on the light in a lighthouse and...uh...that's it. It's all over in about two minutes. No plot. No twists.
Granted, the game does work, but I'm still baffled at why this was a 2008 IFcomp entry.
Despite the relatively bug-free implementation and vividly imagined gaming world, I found I couldn't rate Varkana too highly.
The gameplay itself was rather unfocused and for the most part, left me wandering around wondering what I was supposed to be doing, which is rarely a good thing. The puzzles weren't always obvious (or fair, for that matter) and often required me to duplicate commands (generally considered taboo in modern IF) or perform an unlikely set of tasks.
The general quality of the game seemed to take a dive towards the end, where I suddenly found myself controlling a different character as the plot skidded in a completely incredible direction; most likely the hallmarks of a game completed in a rush.
Judged purely on the merits of the story, Floatpoint is a fairly impressive and well written piece of work, which is why I've given it a higher score than I did during the IF comp. However, in terms of an interactive fiction game, I found that the implementation left a lot to be desired, as I ran into several game-killing bugs in my attempt to complete it.
Fairly well written with some interesting ideas, but many of the plot events seemed rather contrived, occasionally borderlining on irritating. The Primrose Path is playable, but I fail to understand what many people saw in it.
This is perhaps the author's best game yet, although admittedly that's not saying much. The home-grown parser is still very primitive and there are a fair quantity of bugs in there. Includes a rather insulting introduction.
Unlike Kurusu City, Chancellor was relatively free from bugs, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, unlike Kurusu City, the story is pretty nonsensical and I didn't feel compelled to play it for very long.