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by Gareth Rees

Collegiate, Mystery

About the Story

"When your brother Malcolm sends you a telegram inviting you to visit him at Biblioll College in the ancient university town of Christminster, you imagine that the mysterious `discovery' he alludes to is nothing more than some esoteric bit of chemistry, and that you'll have a pleasant day out in beautiful surroundings. But when you get to Christminster, nothing is as you expect. Where has Malcolm vanished to? What are the unpleasant Doctor Jarboe and the positively repulsive Professor Bungay up to? And what do long-forgotten alchemical treatises have to do with the modern day?" [--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Off-Site Reviews

The college is populated with particularly rich characters who play their parts well through the usual sorts of text-adventure interactions. There are good excuses to interact with them along the way, too, provided by a plot which twists along past different personalities. Rees has said that his puzzles are contrived for the purpose of drawing the interactor through the story and into contact with different characters, and that is evident in Christminster. Areas of the setting are consecutively unlocked for exploration, but the whole college is worked into the story very evenly, throughout the narrative.
-- Nick Montfort

In all, though, the small cracks don't mar the soundness of the game. The overall game design is as tight and sensible as just about anything I've seen. Christminster certainly makes my top five of all time, and stands as a classic. I suspect it will hold up well under the test of time. One hallmark of such games is that they make it hard to release a new game with a similar setting, plot, or milieu because the author has so well nailed it down. That seems to be the case here for college campuses and Christminster.
-- David Samuel Myers
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Xyzzy News
There's much to like about "Christminster," from the clever puzzles to the highly interactive NPCs. "Christminster" joins the crowded field of IF games with a collegiate setting, but this one comes in at or near the head of the class.
-- Eileen Mullin
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The Rosebush
Spencerís floozie: gender and gameplay in Christminster
And yet the entire game is structured by who Christabel is. The who that she is, however, is not so much a history or a voice or a personality, but her relationship to the setting as a whole and to the characters that inhabit it. As we have seen, this allows Rees to set up highly effective resonances between story, puzzles, setting, and character. It is a design space that we have not explored enough; and one where Christminster can still point the way.
-- Victor Gijsbers
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Page Update History

  v.11: 31-Jul-2023 03:29 - blue/green (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed external review links
v.10: 31-Jul-2023 03:27 - blue/green
Changed external review links
v.9: 02-Sep-2022 18:44 - Zach Harper
Changed publication date
v.8: 14-Apr-2020 19:00 - matt w (Matt Weiner)
Changed external review links
v.7: 09-Sep-2019 13:50 - Nathan
Changed development system
v.6: 11-Feb-2017 00:20 - Greg Frost
Changed forgiveness
v.5: 13-Apr-2013 16:28 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.4: 27-Jan-2013 08:30 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.3: 01-Mar-2008 15:39 - David Welbourn
Changed description
v.2: 01-Mar-2008 05:56 - Juhana
Changed download links
v.1: 29-Sep-2007 20:49 - IFDB
Created page