Nightfall

by Eric Eve profile

Espionage
2008

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Number of Reviews: 6
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
Beware the Enemy, November 18, 2008

It should not surprise anyone that a game by Eric Eve is meticulously tested and player-friendly -- or that it allows a wide range of options in a spacious environment -- or that it features Biblical references and an elusive, unsettling female character.

I think Nightfall works better than Elysium Enigma, though: the atmosphere is more consistent, the puzzle elements more plausibly suited to their setting, the story is ultimately more thematically coherent and focused more deeply on personalities. The essential premise is hauntingly tied to things actually happening in the world, and the abandoned spaces feel plausibly chilling. Moreover, Eve takes full advantage of his medium. Implied time limits rush you along, built-in pathfinding allows you to navigate a city that the player character knows much better than the player, and a host of small design choices guide the story without making it feel too linear.

Nightfall is a competition game, but deserves more than two hours. The basic mystery of the game can be resolved in a single playing, but to understand the characters properly, and to get a happier ending, will probably take a second try, with more exploration. In a way, it is like the inverse of Varicella: where the player of Varicella must play many times in order to achieve the perfect Machiavellian plot, the player of Nightfall starts off in the middle of a situation planned by others, and may need to replay in order to escape it.

The game is not perfect. I was not always completely convinced by the motivations of the characters, who have to do some fairly extraordinary things. Nonetheless, it's a creepy and memorable work displaying superb IF craftsmanship.