I Am Prey

by Joey Cramsey profile

Science Fiction

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Cat and mouse with varying level of difficulties, May 14, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This game has a lot more in common with roguelikes than standard IF gameplay (unless I've deeply misunderstood roguelikes). There is a fixed map with seven important items randomly generated in it, and an enemy that moves around the map and reacts to you; additionally, there are several difficulty levels that basically give you 'extra lives' or make the enemy a bit slower.

I beta tested an early version of this game.

Here are my overall thoughts:

+Polish: The game claims to be a beta, but I found the version I played (near the end of Spring Thing) to be fairly complete; I didn't find any bugs, and objects had a lot of detail.

+Descriptiveness: The map is both overflowing and sparse. Each room is detailed, but many of them overlap in the items they have (filing cabinets, screens, etc.). Items are utilitarian but hint at a greater cause. It's an interesting mix, and I found it fairly evocative. The map is very helpful.

+Interactivity: The frantic scrambling around to find the seven items isn't something I've seen a lot before, and it was a fun change from the usual staid, considered type of IF game I tend to play. There is a parkour element, but it never came into play for me, playing on the easiest non-tutorial setting. Its main effect seems to be to help with escaping, but I only ran into the Predator once, near the very end. Perhaps in harder difficulties it is more useful.

-Emotional impact: I think the writing overall is strong, but a lot of the pieces just didn't fall into place for me. The story has so many intro declarations and warnings and prefacing and guides that it almost felt bubblewrapped, designed to protect me from the game but simultaneously blunting its experience. The warnings on themselves are useful, as the game has frequent strong profanity, which isn't always in service to some overarching narrative goal. In the game itself, there are a couple of strong threads: (Spoiler - click to show)a capitalist society trying to make brainwashed slaves, (Spoiler - click to show)a fellow clone, or some other experiment, hunting you down, perhaps as a test to make you stronger?, (Spoiler - click to show)a siege wearing you down. They all tie together in game, but they feel disparate. Is your pursuer your comrade or your foe? Both are okay individually, but with both as possibilities there was less tension for me.

+Would I play again? The core gameplay loop isn't bad, and the overall polish makes for solid gameplay. I could see myself revisiting it.

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inventor200, May 17, 2023 - Reply
Thank you for playing, and thank you so much for the review and kind words!!
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