This is an fairly adorable, small, quick to play game, and probably the only interactive fiction I've played where the PC is a zebra. It has a small, easy to map landscape, solid writing, and a clear goal.
I did hit one small snag... (Spoiler - click to show)Sometimes you need to be specific in conversations, and >ASK _____ ABOUT _____. Other times, even when you might think you're supposed to be *very* specific, you should just use >TALK TO _____. And don't even try giving commands to other characters in this game, even though that seems like a good approach; the game will tell you to leave that character alone, even when you may well be on the right track.
Noire d'Encre is a puzzlefest on a short fuse. Or rather, it's a game in which you have to find a lot of objects to solve a lot things, and you're on (what for me felt like) a very cruel timer. I'd say it's probably impossible to win on the first playthrough. If you're the sort that would take that as a challenge, have at it!
All that having been said, it is definitely worth playing, and it's worth playing in the dark, wearing headphones, at low- to mid-level volume. The game is laced with pretty awesome sound effects that are effective (difficult to pull off in IF!) and add to the game play.
In the long run, I'd love to see a second release of this that has a more merciful timer, an explanation as to how the PC came to be where she is, and a little brother with a bit more personality, but this first release is nevertheless a lot of fun. I'm very glad to have experienced it and I definitely won't forget it.
I really enjoyed Life on Mars?, and found it to be a surprisingly immersive experience, even though it's not a terribly interactive game. This sounds counter-intuitive, perhaps, but because of the situation the PC is in, the approach felt very appropriate and was executed very well. I was less keen on the later game, but feel that this game is definitely worth playing for its somewhat novel approach to revealing backstory. Clearly the author put a lot of effort into this, and it paid off with a haunting experience that generates a great sense of empathy in the player.