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About the Story
"The mystery, for you, started two years ago.
15th Place - 7th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2001)
I think I detect, in many places in this game, indications that the authors are relatively new to TADS, and that they are comfortable doing the straightforward tasks but uncertain about the customizing nuances that smooth over awkward bits. [...] An unambitious little game with some nice atmospheric touches, lacking a lot in surface polish.
-- Emily Short
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I'm not usually a fan of what I'd call a 'real life' adventure, set in recognisable locations rather than dungeons or mythical settings. But The Coast House is a well structured and well written game which kept my attention.
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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
All in all, a fairly solid piece of work if not for the simple lack of basic proofreading. Somebody needs to pick this game up and beat the errors out of it like dust out of an old rug. Once this happens, The Coast House will become a nicely atmospheric piece of IF.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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The goal of The Coast House is unclear, but the atmosphere is good. This is a mystery that follows the player as he searches the home of his late grandmother and retired grandfather for clues to...something. Just what he is searching for is unclear. All he knows is that his grandfather suggested that there was something back at the old unused house in the town of Dalton on the coast of Texas that would be of interest to him. And there we have it.
The puzzles in The Coast House are relatively easy, and the game is quite forgiving. You donít die, at least not that Iíve experienced. The prose has a few grammatical errors, but not enough to really disturb me. I found the lack of a clear goal a bit confusing, as I had no real direction to follow. It was largely a matter of going through the usual paces of exploring the map, examining everything, trying to use things together to achieve a simple result, and maybe something will happen to move the plot along. Had the game been a bit longer I would likely have given up, not really feeling driven to accomplish anything.
What causes The Coast House to stand out is the effective atmosphere generated by the prose. Iíve never been to the east coast of Texas, and especially not to Dalton, but I now feel as though I would recognize it if I did. Great attention has been given to detail, generating feelings of nostalgia and loss. That is quite an accomplishment for such a short game, and it is clear that Dalton, or a town much like it, is close to the heart of the author(s).
Having said all that, would I recommend The Coast House? Only if you are looking for decent example of atmosphere. Apart from that, the events were really quite ordinary and after finishing the game I thought to myself, ďWell, that was nice.Ē But that was it. No wow factor for me.
I like the atmosphere in this game. You're in a town on the Gulf Coast, exploring a town and an old wharf.
The game isn't large, so it doesn't take too long to finish. But it could be much better-clued. Without clues, this game is like playing monopoly for the first time without instructions.
There was one action required at the end that I found unusually gruesome, but somewhat logical in hindsight.
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