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A Change in the Weather, by Andrew Plotkin

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Well written prose, poorly designed, almost unplayable., August 22, 2011
by Neo
Related reviews: Change, Weather, Game Design

While the game features a winning non-human NPC and lovely descriptions of the scenery, the actual gameplay is awful. The goal of the game is unguessable, and many of the puzzles are time sensitive -- time-sensitive meaning four or five turns, sometimes -- so that you will find yourself dying and reloading, dying and reloading. I found the beginning of the game relatively do-able, finding items and using them. However, after a fair amount of game play, I discovered that in the first couple of turns I had done something which made the game unwinnable; I would never have known if I hadn't looked it up. I later used a found item on something to solve a problem, and it didn't work -- (Spoiler - click to show)I tried to move the boulder with the spade by placing it beneath the boulder and "moving boulder with spade", which did not work. The solution is to "pry boulder with spade". simply because I failed to use on specific word, even though I was clearly using language to perform the operation that was the solution to the puzzle. The game is simply too unforgiving and rather pointless. The ending makes no sense whatsoever, and the one relationship in the game -- with the NPC -- is developed and then, for no reason, completely abandoned without explanation.

For all that, the game is rather short, features some unexplained imagery which appears to be part of an undeveloped plot, has a tiny map, and features puzzles which can only be solved by persistent and random, pointless experimentation to such degree that the game appears hostile to its audience.



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