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About the Story
The year is 1957, and the place is lush, storm-tossed Stinglash Island, just off the north coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula. You are Page LeBlanc, witch in training, and you've returned for another year at dear old Whitefield...and it's definitely not your fault you're a day late.
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NOTE: I have not completed the game yet due to hardware limitations (Mac, online only) but I wanted to call attention to it.
This is one of the best examples of a non choice-based Quest game I've seen in a while. Even though the story obviously pulls inspiration from several sources (Infocom spell-fests, J.K.Rowling) the writing is clever and at the level where it feels like one of Infocom's old-school fictions, perhaps aimed at the WISHBRINGER crowd. The female protagonist returns to her not-Hogwarts magic school a day late to find everyone missing, frozen, or worse. The game touts five re-usable spells and from the section I played seemed tightly coded...
Except I *ached* for this story to be in Glulx or Tads with a more robust parser. I'm on a Mac, and therefore cannot play Quest games offline, so each turn takes from half a second to about five seconds to register, and while that doesn't sound like much, it's like walking through sticky mud. Also, many of the standard modern conveniences such as word synonyms (READ BOOK? Nope. READ SPELLBOOK) and some pronoun handling (TAKE BOOK. EXAMINE IT sometimes failed to catch what I was talking about) are noticeably absent from the interface. Fortunately Quest provides an inventory list and a list of exact items in scope so that's not a huge deal, but it felt clunky to type TAKE CAKE. (whoops) TAKE CUPCAKE frequently. I did enjoy some Quest features, such as a colorful automatic map and a compass rose showing viable directions at all times.
The author is quite on the ball (loved the trashy romance novel excerpt) and has included some original art as well. I'm almost certain she would be conscientious about synonyms and the like if Quest made it easy. I'm not vastly experienced with Quest, but I know creating a parser-style game on the order of one this fully-implemented is quite a huge task involving advanced scripting concepts despite the language's "easy" trappings which is why many of the games that come out using it (unlike this one) are relatively simple or CYOA.
I hope to continue this, which means I'm going to have to register for the Quest site (I'm sure I have before, just don't remember it) in order to save my progress. Definitely worth a look if you are on PC and can download the off-line Quest runner, or have a lot more patience than I do.
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This is version 6 of this page, edited by CMG on 5 October 2019 at 11:29pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item